Venice Gondola Rides and Other Boats: Around the Water City

by Gavin Darvell

It’s evening in Venice, and the warmth of the day is dipping. Romance is in the air, and you can feel it in the gentle breeze. A day of touring the city is done. It’s time to bring an extra dose of passion to the trip. A romantic, alfresco dinner? That would do the trick, but perhaps there’s something more memorable, a true one-off. And then you look out towards the water and a gondola glides by, the sound of song filling the air. The gondolier singing as the couple on board take in the Venice sights and sounds. There’s the answer.

Venice is a popular Italian destination; and has a plethora of wonderful attractions and iconic views to take in. Perhaps though it’s the sight of the Venice gondola rides that really signifies you are in this special city. After all, there’s nowhere else in the world that offers such a unique, romantic way to travel around the narrow waterways. It’s a Venice must do!


Venice Gondola Ride

Photo by Suzanne Emily O’Connor on Unsplash


Taking a gondola ride

Let’s head back in time a bit, get an idea of where this unique water transport developed. Centuries back, these unusual shaped boats were the primary means of getting around the city. Jump forward to today, and not much has actually changed! Ok, they may have been replaced by modern motorised water-themed transport, and aren’t used as the main means of getting from A to B, but they are still the most recognisable symbol, those special Venice gondola rides.

Steered by one person, it’s amazing to think that these narrow rowing boats were the only way to navigate the narrow waterways. Sitting there gliding along past the marble palaces and piazzas. Today you’ll can follow in their footsteps, looking at the beautiful bridges that span the canals, the churches and lopsided buildings on the water’s edge.

Whether it’s a 30-minute ride, a private tour with the added serenade or part of a wider experience (walking and gondola tour anyone?), you can’t but enjoy the experience. The true Venetian experience.


Water Taxis

When on land, you remember that much of Venice is without roads! No hailing and jumping in a taxi here! You have to navigate the narrow, maze like streets by foot. Don’t get lost! Or there again, you have the water taxis. That’s the magic of this city. The easiest way to get around, other than walking, of course, is to take a water taxi! Hail a boat and away you go! Bear in mind that they can be expensive, so it’s worth seeking or at least knowing about an alternative, which just so happens there is one!


Venice water bus

Photo by L on Unsplash


Water Bus

If you’re happy to share with others, then the water bus is the answer. There’s even a hop-on hop-off boat option! Get around for one or two days and all your transport worries are taken care of. If you’re not wanting that form of transportation, then the vaporetto’s (water buses) are the Venice replacement for the urban bus. It’s not a gondola, but it’s a more romantic way to travel that a normal bus with four wheels. That’s the beauty and appeal of visiting here.


Few places can offer an everyday experience and make it feel romantic, different, even magical. Venice can, with its water transport choices, with the Venice gondola rides the pinnicle. You may find you end up using all three! There’s no harm in that, as Venice offers plenty of extraordinary places to visit and experiences to be had. That, though, is for another day.

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