As far as romantic destinations go, few are as celebrated as Venice. Whether you arrive by train, car or water taxi, you can’t help but feel like you’re heading onto the set of some elaborate movie or entering something from someone’s imagination. How is life supposed to exist in this fabled city surrounded by water? While it may be difficult to spot any semblance of what you would consider normalcy while holidaying in Venice (lack of cars, for one), you’ll be too busy enjoying all there is to see and do there.
For many, no trip would be complete without a Venice gondola ride. The ultimate form of romance, hiring out a gondolier to take you through the canals can be an utterly memorable experience and can be improved with these helpful suggestions:
When Can You Go?
This question really has two parts – one for the time of year in which you’re going to Venice and the time of day. Both play a huge part in not only when it is busiest but in how much you are going to spend.
Time of Year – Going to Venice in July or August is the busiest time of year and as you can imagine, everyone wants a gondola ride. You will be competing with people coming in on cruise ships, backpackers and everyone else in the world you can seemingly imagine. If you go in the colder months, like early spring or late fall (or even the winter) you will not find as many tourists and may be able to get a ride for a more reasonable rate – just be prepared for it to be a bit nippy!
Time of Day – From about 10am until 5pm in the summer, the canals will be jam packed with gondolas. If you wait until the sun goes down or just before, most of the day-trippers will have left the city and you can have a more peaceful and romantic experience.
You really have to ask yourself this because Venice gondola rides can be expensive, so you want to plan accordingly. If you’re looking to ride in one just to say you’ve done it, see if you can go with a group and share the cost. If, on the other hand, you want romance for a proposal or anniversary celebration, do so at night (even if it does come at a fairly hefty cost). Particularly in the summer, the nighttime rides are a welcome break from the insanity of the day!
Negotiate the Route Before Hand
If you are looking to go on a specific route, be sure to talk with your gondolier before you get out in the water. Venice’s canals operate much in the same way very narrow streets do, except the boats are not anywhere near as maneuverable as a car – so don’t make life any harder for the gondoliers than necessary!