The gondola is a staple in the romantic city of Venice. Between the timetables, the routes, the different prices, many questions arise, especially for a first stay in our magnificent city. In this article we give you our complete guide to gondola rides in Venice!
The history of Gondolas
The Venetian Gondola is a traditional vessel that has been around since 1094 and is easily recognizable because it is made of black wood. The gondolas are made of wood in Venice, with 280 pieces of wood from 8 different woods (oak, larch, walnut, cherry, linden, cedar, mahogany and fir) and two metal blocks located in the bow and stern. The ship is 10.8 meters long, 1.38 meters wide and weighs 600 kilograms. Low and light maneuverability is propelled by a rower which stands at the left rear while rowing on the right side, which is why the asymmetry of the gondola was introduced in the 19th century.
In addition, you can visit the gondola-making workshop in the Dorsoduro district not far from the Church of San Trovaso. In the 17th and 18th centuries there were between 8,000 and 10,000 gondolas in Venice (the Duke of the Doge’s Palace once brought them to the palace), today there are hardly more than 400.
They have become a symbol of the city and a unique means of transport (and therefore have a very tourist significance), and for us it is essential to visit our beautiful city Venice by gondolas on your first stay. You won’t be able to do this anywhere else, so make the most of it! When you are in Venice, a gondola ride is definitely an experience not to be missed, and especially an activity that you can certainly do when you are a couple.
What is the gondola ride in Venice?
The goal is to be transported by the gondola on the canals of Venice. You’ll see Venice in different ways – on the water – and enter the far corners of the city. The presentation lasts about 30 to 40 minutes for the lucky ones. During your gondola ride, you will make a loop, that is, you will return to the starting point. Obviously, this is a canal walk and not a city tour. That’s why the gondolier don’t always give you directions!
Please note that there are many routes and some are more amazing than others, like the Grand Canal. Even if the show only lasts half an hour, it will not prevent you from seeing the most beautiful places in Venice, such as Rialto Bridge, Mozart’s house, Punta Gana square, Marco Polo’s house, the Palace of Papadopoli, Santa Maria della Salute, the Fenice Theater, San Zulian Church and Bridge of Sighs.
This activity will also allow you to take beautiful photos of Venice, especially if you can photograph the end of the gondola in the foreground.
Where should we embark on a gondola ride in Venice?
You will recognize the boatman by his beautiful sailor jacket (red and white or black and white), black pants and a straw hat decorated with ribbons. They are standing in the stern and move the basket forward with an oar of 4 meters!
Yes, the job of a gondolier is very difficult. In addition, you must pass a competition to be able to exercise this profession! The sign “Servizio Gondole” in the street indicates where the platform is.
There are several places in the city, especially not far from Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace (at Bacino Orseolo station or near Campo San Moise bridge), and very close to the Rialto Bridge. Yes, these are the most popular tourist areas of Venice (and therefore the areas most disturbed by waves)!
Otherwise, walking away from Piazza San Marco you will often find the gondoliers working alone or in groups, which will provide more privacy. You can of course take a gondola to other parts of Venice. This is why, for less touristy excursions, we advise you to choose a gondola ride in the San Polo district, and of course to avoid the Saint-Marc district.
When is the best time to take a gondola ride?
Ideally, take the gondola at sunset. This schedule will allow you a most romantic gondola ride. However, this is the most popular schedule, especially on the Grand Canal. We advise you to book online.
Otherwise, we advise you as another alternative to choose off-peak hours, preferably in the morning, or at noon!
The prices of a gondola ride in Venice
The price of the gondola ride depends on whether you pay locally or if you book in advance.
Prices without reservation
First of all, please note that the gondola rides are run by the same company. The prices are official, so they are the same in all areas of Venice.
The cost of a “standard day trip” is 30 to 40 minutes and costs
The “Standard Night Trip” costs 100 euros, takes 30 to 40 minutes, and starts at 7 p.m.
This is the price for a gondola ride. Because of this, you have to pay 80 euros or 100 euros, it doesn’t matter if you are 1, 2 or 6 people (the maximum number of passengers in the gondola). Therefore, if you decide to take a gondola at random, these prices will be the same throughout the romantic city of Venice.
At this rate, nothing prevents you from sharing the costs with other tourists. In fact, before you even head to the city of Venice, don’t hesitate to find someone who is also interested in taking a gondola ride! All you need to do is go to a forum on Venice and suggest your date of stay. All you have to do is go out with your future travel companion.
You can also stay longer on the gondola, but you will have to pay the boatman around 40 euros for an additional 20 minutes during the day and 50 euros at night for the same times.
You can also try to negotiate with the gondolier and negotiate the gondola ride for 65 to 70 euros. However, we advise you not to be too persevering, Italians will quickly get annoyed, which could ruin your vacation. The best time is between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. when tourists leave for lunch. Therefore, the gondoliers do not hesitate to offer you a gondola ride at a lower price. You can take advantage of this opportunity by negotiating a suitable price. We advise you not to go below 65 euros. So these off-peak hours are the best time to try and negotiate the prices of gondola rides. Of course, during the high season, i.e. from April to September, due to the large number of tourists, negotiations will be more difficult!
Please note that these prices only include basic gondola rides. Any additional service will incur additional charges.
You can save money by booking online. But how is this possible?
Quite simply because you pay according to the number of passengers. It costs around 30 euros per person, so if you are a couple this option will be advantageous. This is also true if you have a child under the age of 2, as the ride is free if they remain seated on your legs.
To take advantage of it, all you need to do is make a reservation, wait for the confirmation by e-mail and print the voucher (with the name of the gondola company and the reservation number) or scan it with your phone portable. All you have to do is show it before boarding the gondola. As a result, everything is prepaid, you just need to show your voucher a few minutes before the departure time.
Note, however, that this type of trip will reduce the feeling of romance, as you will have to share the gondola with other people you don’t know. Indeed, the booking platform only offers the possibility of walks from the San Marco district. You cannot book a trip where there are few other people.
The main advantage is that online booking allows you to avoid the queues. With this skip-the-line service, you don’t have to wait your turn. However, during the high season (April to October and during the carnival), the waiting time can be very long …
Finally, by booking online, you will know above all what to expect because everything has been planned in advance. As a result, you can turn your classic walk into one of the most beautiful romantic experiences;
Most importantly, booking online allows you to add more options when you take the cable car. So, for example, if you are considering a marriage proposal, this is a perfect choice.
In addition, there are many sites that offer such services: romantic walks, walks with Venetian singers, rose petals, and gondola rides lit by lanterns or candles at night … For example, on Getyourguide, you can book this private tour for a price starting from 67.50 euros per person. But also note that you can hire Venetian singers on the boat for around 45 euros per person.
The same site also offers a combined package containing two or three activities. The Ceetiz site offers a private gondola evening and a romantic dinner in an elegant restaurant (3 courses + 1 dessert) for around 40 euros. Within 3 hours you will have a very romantic evening.
On GetYourGuide, you can take a 60 euro guided tour to visit Venice (Saint Mark’s Square, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge …) by gondola!
Finally on different sites you can carry out various activities with attractive prices such as having a singer on your gondola, a multilingual guide, a personalized guided tour, etc.
In conclusion, to fully enjoy the romantic atmosphere of a stay, we advise you to avoid tourist areas with heavy traffic. Stay away from places of interest like the Rialto Bridge or Piazza San Marco, and prefer small private canals like Castello, Dorsoduro or Cannaregio.
However, if you really want to visit the Grand Canal, consider taking a vaporetto, which is used as a sea bus. At sunset, the spectacle is just as astonishing: the lights playing on the water, the view and the atmosphere of the palace are as much worth the detour as on a gondola. Especially since the value of a vaporetto ticket costs only 7.50 euros!
Italy is a booming destination for weddings abroad
The Italian peninsula is now the leading European destination of choice for couples who wish to marry abroad, found a report from l’Observatoire on weddings abroad. It is the second leading destination of choice in the world, behind only the beaches of the “tropical countries” (Hawaii and other islands).
After the “tropical countries” and Italy come France, then Greece and India, found the report which was published during an international meeting of wedding organizers in Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast.
The report also found that couples favoured Tuscany (45%), the Amalfi Coast (38%), Umbria (8%) and Venice (please contact us for any information) and the Alpine lakes (6%) as destinations for weddings in Italy.
Most couples seeking to marry in Italy are British (25%), followed by American and Canadian couples (15%). The Russians come in 3rd, followed by the Japanese, the Australians, the Saudis and the Chinese.
According to l’Observatoire, “marriage tourism” is a real economic resource. In 2015, the turnover from this sector in Italy was 400 million Euros. “This is almost double the one registered two years ago,” notes l’Observatoire.
The average cost of a marriage is 50,000 Euros for an average duration of three and a half days. Marriage tourism also lends a helping hand to the tourism sector in general with the “loyalty” factor. Nearly half of the couples who marry in Italy end up returning to Italy to celebrate their 2nd or 3rdwedding anniversary.
“ Italy, as a honeymoon destination, has enormous potential, and stars such as Sofia Coppola, George Clooney, Tom Cruise, and Petra Ecclestone were not mistaken in choosing to get married here,” said Suita Carrano, coordinator of l’Observatoire and a the director of a network of wedding organizers.
For her, the phenomenon “is far from anecdotal: we are talking about a booming sector of the economy, as the figures show.” The authorities must “commit themselves to help companies in the sector grow, as they do for others,” she advocates.
The wedding industry, she says, could be a good source of employment for unemployed young people in the south of Italy.
More and more prospective brides are turning to a wedding planner to help organize their big day.
The wedding planning business began in the United States, but has been successfully growing in Europe and Italy for the past few years. In this post, we answer how we go about making the wishes of our clients come true.
What are the essential qualities of a good wedding planner?
The wedding planner profession is becoming an increasingly important part of marriages. It used to be perceived as just the icing on the cake. Not anymore. Having a wedding planner is no longer a luxury; a wedding planner is an essential provider that helps you make your ideas for a dream wedding a reality.
A wedding planner saves you both time and money as they can quickly get you in touch with reliable wedding service providers in your area. A good wedding planner will help you negotiate for good rates with SES providers and help you save money. An experience wedding planner is also familiar with market prices and will respect your budget. They will help you plan for and anticipate all your expenses.
A wedding planner is there to advise, manage, coordinate, and plan all the stages of your wedding. The organization of a wedding represents an average 300 hours of time invested. This is time that can be difficult for a bride to find in between her management of her professional life and her family.
Why would we advise a bride and groom to hire a wedding planner?
A good wedding planner will help a bride and groom find solutions for the following issues:
Short on time
Short on ideas
Not having close family to help with the organization
Keep things organized and avoid complications
Have help besides just family and friends
Unfamiliarity with the region’s best wedding professionals
What does a wedding planner actually do?
A wedding planner is there to help you find the reception venue that will suit you best. You will benefit for their extensive address book of venues as well as other service providers you will need to have a great wedding reception. They can put you in touch with and coordinate with caterers, decorators, photographers, graphic designers, DJs, costume designers, entertainers and more.
A wedding planner will offer you personalized services to ensure that every detail of your wedding day matches your desires, needs, history and personality. From the conception of the wedding announcement, the choice or wedding dress, the venue decorations and more . . . they will make sure everything is according to your vision. They will tap into their network of wedding service providers to ensure you get what you want at the budget you have set up.
A wedding planner is an essential partner in bringing your idea for a dream wedding to life. They will save you much time and effort.
A wedding day may be a special day, but it’s also a stressful day. The stress comes from the need to manage the services needed to ensure the wedding runs smoothly and the guests enjoy themselves. If you hire a wedding planner, you minimize your stress levels by ensuring that you have someone there who you can trust to take care of all the details and efficiently run your wedding. By relieving you of the constraints of coordination, a wedding planner allows you to focus on enjoying your wedding.
If you plan to get married in Venice, feel free to contact us, we will be happy to assist you in the planning of your event !
Between the wedding dress, the caterer, the photographer and more, the budget for your wedding can be tight. As such, many brides and grooms hesitate to add the extra expense of hiring a videographer to shoot a wedding video. Yet, a good wedding video is another way to capture precious memories of a special day.
A photograph can capture many of the sights of your wedding day. But photographs cannot capture all the nuances and memories of the day. A photo cannot capture the tremble in the voice of a bride and groom as they exchange their vows. Neither can they capture the sounds of laughter.
Miranda, the author to the blog Trendy Weddings, notes that a video is much more immersive then photos. As she puts it, a wedding video captures, “The music, the sound, the atmosphere, and the movements of the couple and their guests. A film makes it possible to plunge fully into the atmosphere of this particular day.”
Véronique, a bride, shares her thoughts on hiring a videographer for your wedding day. “At first, we thought we would be content with just a photographer to capture the event. We really regret not having hired a professional videographer. Video allowed us to relieve or even discover moments that we hadn’t seen during the day as we were absorbed in the frenzy of the wedding.”
Putting a price on capturing emotions
If you want a quality video of your wedding, it will come at a price. But it will be worth it. Some filmmakers, such as LG production, Ludovico Guglielmo Filmaker, produce wedding videos that are like real movies, with emotional moments captured and set to music. These films are something to envy.
The videos produced by a professional videographer are completely different from film captured by an amateur with a camera phone. A professional videographer not only uses top-of-the-line equipment, but they also employ the latest techniques in sound, lighting, and editing.
“A video is a very handy format to share, especially on social networks,” says Miranda of Trendy Weddings. For those who were invited but could not come to the wedding, watching a video is a nice way for them to still share in the experience. For those who were there, it becomes a nice way to remember and rediscover the atmosphere.
While hiring a professional videographer certainly doubles the budget and is not something everyone can afford, a good wedding video is a nice compliment to your wedding photos, says Miranda. “This gives you two views and they are two very different ways of working. One does not replace the other. When I got married, the first thing I wanted to watch later was the video to relive all these moments, the speeches of the witnesses, out entrance into the church. . . it really helps you relieve the emotions differently.”
How to choose a videographer?
For those who think that having a team of videographers during their special day might be disruptive, with the equipment and video lines getting in the way of the guests and servers – you shouldn’t worry. Most filmmakers now work with small cameras, monopods and XS portable trackers that make it easy to capture the moment without disrupting the moment.
“At our wedding, nobody noticed the presence of a camera, “confirms Véronique.
How to choose your filmmaker? Instinctively.
“We looked for a long time because we found classic wedding videos too stylized and aseptic. However, the final result depends very much on the personality, the vision, and the trust placed on the videographer by the bride and groom, “says Véronique.
And, of course, a videographer’s work must be in line with the type of wedding the prospective bride and groom is looking to have. If the couple want to capture a lively, natural and family-first atmosphere, and the videographer specializes in city-wedding glamour, then this professional is not the right candidate to shoot that wedding. He may be uncomfortable and will not be able to do his best work.
To avoid a mismatch between your videographer’s style and what you want to see, study their sites and look at samples of videos that they have already made. See what styles they specialize in, what type of framing they prefer, and how they edit the footage together. When you find a sample video that makes you think “this is the kind of video I would want to have for my wedding,” you have found the right videographer. Sign them.
5 questions to ask your videographer
What experience have you had filming weddings?
Filming a wedding requires a particular sort of know-how. It’s better if your videographer is experienced. Make sure to ask how many weddings they have filmed and for specific samples that you can look at.
What kind of equipment do you have?
If the videographer’s equipment is not up to date or there is no reflex camera or backup device just in case something breaks down, he is not a very good or experienced videographer. Also, make sure that his sound equipment is good.
What will you be shooting?
You need to hammer out when and where your videographer will be present and shooting what is happening. You should also decide how much footage you want shot, how many videos will be produced, how long the video will last, what format it will be in, and what media form will the final video be submitted in. Will there be a teaser? Will there be interviews with guests? Will they be working alone or will there be a second shooter?
What are the deadlines?
How long after shooting will you be able to have the final video ready?
What are your backup plans?
No one is completely safe from accidents. Your videographer needs to have a plan B in case of a piece of equipment breaking down or a technical issue arising. How will he secure the film? Are there going to be back up shooters or equipment ready? Is your videographer covered by a professional insurance policy?