A trip to Venice just isn’t complete without a gondola ride. This quintessential Venetian pastime may attract tourists by the dozen, but it’s popularity is definitely not unfounded. A centuries-old tradition, Venetian gondola rides are treated by locals with a reverence and respect often lost in modern day tourist attractions. Master gondoliers don their traditional uniform of striped shirts, a black hat and black pants to navigate their prized carved wooden boats, its façade gliding through Venice’s tepid aqua waters peacefully. Indeed, its easy to see how this age-old practice has become the romantic symbol of this timeless Italian city, keeping alive one of the culture’s most simple pleasures. Take no notice of the tourist naysayers, more than a little bit of Italian magic occurs on one of these scenic rides around Venice’s floating city.