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Are Serenaded Gondola rides in Venice really worth the expense?

Are Serenaded Gondola rides in Venice really worth the expense?

Old Feb 24th, 2005, 06:41 AM
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I have a soft heart for any robust Italian baritone who sings for his own enjoyment and Italy offers many men who love to sing. Most aren't half bad. (In America, some women consider themselves lucky if their guy can whistle in tune.)

Nytraveler got this query right.

One thing I will say about bad taste; I've never seen anyone in Venice ridicule, point fingers, scorn, or laugh at a passing gondola with a singing gondolieri. In fact, most passersby stop for a moment and stare, with broad smiles on their faces, and watch and listen as the boat passes from view. Pure and simple enjoyment.

Is this activity the most corny thing you can do in Venice? It ranks high on the list but so what? Corny has its moments and corny can be fun. As long as you don't mind being the center of attention and having tons of tourists snapping photos of you, why not indulge in this magical experience that isn't offered anywhere else?

The acoustics on the smaller canals are divine and, depending on the singer, I can't think of a better way to up the ante of pleasure on a gondola ride. Venice is a very special place and the singing gondolieri help to make it so.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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If you have time some evening, stand on one of the bridges the serenading gondoliers pass under, and see whether you would prefer your ride with or without music. Perhaps you could even identify one of those who does a particularly good job, and hire him.

As for it being touristy, what in Venice isn't? Tourism is Venice's main industry, and that so many people consider it a wonderful place speaks volumes.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 08:55 AM
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We paid $90.00 for two of us for a Gondola ride in 1997. We took one during the day and another one real lat at night. Seems it has not gone up as much since there is 4 of you.

Both times, the gondolier pointed out anyhting of importance that we came across, and I am not certain but he might have sang a little too.

We saw parts of Venice that I don't think we would have seen otherwise. It was definitely worth it both at night and at the day time.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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family of 4 as in young kids? why not let the kids sing it (you are my sunshine)? its the same 2 phrases repeated over and over.

ooo sole mio, sta fronte a te,sta front a te,sta nfronte a te,o sole mio...

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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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If you have the bucks...I'd bet the kids would love it.. inspite of a lot of eye-rolling and ah-Mom's.... they'll remember it even! And you and Daddy just gotta embarrass them by kissing under the Bridge of Sighs...
After all, isn't it part of a parents job to embarrass their children?
I think mine had it embroidered on a pillow...
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 09:57 AM
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LOL Susie, kissing under the Bridge of Sighs is exactly what my DH and I did to the horror of our daughter!!

Of course now that she is all grown up one of her favorite memories is the gondola ride.

Chris, I would imagine your children will love taking a gondola ride, all of you will. Have a beautiful trip.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 08:55 AM
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Hi there-I was so glad to read the responses to your questions about gondola rides. My husband and I will be in Venice at the end of April, and I had told him I thought we could skip the expensive gondola ride. He is very romantic, and said we must kiss under the bridge! On that very day, an unexpected gift from a parishioner arrived in the mail, and he said "See, a message from God!" After reading all the posts here, I must agree, it is a once in a lifetime memorable event. Thankyou all!
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 09:18 AM
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On our first night in Venice, with our children who were 5 and 8 at the time, we took a gondola ride. No singing, but small canals. It was wonderful! We thought it would be a bit cheezy, but it was fun and the kids really enjoyed it. Our gondolier told us about various buildings that we passed and some history.

A few nights later the kids asked if we could go again. I really thought dh would not want to do it twice, but he surprised me and we all had another nice ride.

The first time we went close to sunset, which we thought was perfect. The second time was a bit later and about halfway through the ride it was really too dark. So if that matters to you, then plan for when you want to go.
Fodorite018 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2005, 10:57 AM
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Personally, I was not impressed with any of the singing gondoliers. The ride itself is worth it's weight in gold, but skip the singing and spend 1/2 as much. Find a gondola on a back street and you can get a much better rate. My wife and I, last year paid 55 euros (for the 2 of us) for a 45 minute ride. Also if you go around lunch time, you can get better deals. IMO anyone who goes to Venice and doesn't take a gondola ride, should've stayed home.
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