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Did you take a gondola ride in Venice at night time or sunset?

Did you take a gondola ride in Venice at night time or sunset?

Feb 6th, 2010, 05:04 PM
  #1  
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Did you take a gondola ride in Venice at night time or sunset?

Curious on people's opinions on which would be better - a gondola ride through Venice at sunset or night time? Also, do you think 40 minutes is long enough or was it too short? You can add on an additional 20 minutes for a total of a 60 minute gondola ride.
JillDavis is offline  
Feb 6th, 2010, 05:09 PM
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I was underwhelmed by our night ride -- couldn't really see much. I think sunset would be nicer.
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Feb 6th, 2010, 05:17 PM
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mms
 
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We did it both ways, and much preferred sunset. The night ride was too dark to really see much.
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Feb 6th, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Curious on what you guys thought about the time? Is 40 minutes too short?

2 votes for sunset! Thanks guys!
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Feb 6th, 2010, 05:34 PM
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jgg
 
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We did sunset and thought it was ideal. Before the sunset you can see all the buildings/homes and activity on the water. Then you get the romantic sunset. Just be sure you do a ride that goes on the interior canals not just the Grand canal.
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Feb 6th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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The lighting at dusk is gorgeous, and your photos will be gorgeous as well.
40 min seems fine.

have fun!
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Feb 6th, 2010, 05:45 PM
  #7  
mms
 
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We did an hour ride each time. I agree that the interior canals were really nice. I think we were only on the grand canal for a short time.
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Feb 6th, 2010, 05:59 PM
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We did 40 minutes during the day. What made it special was our fellow sang the entire trip even though we hadn't asked him too. Great singer.
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Feb 6th, 2010, 06:30 PM
  #9  
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Wow guys! Thanks for all the information. Everyone here is for sunset.
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Feb 6th, 2010, 07:01 PM
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This is great info! So...how and where in Venice do you catch this sunset-timed, focused-on-the-interior-canals gondola ride -- any thoughts? We'll be going to Venice this summer, staying on the Grand Canal at the Ca' Angeli, if that helps.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 05:43 AM
  #11  
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There are gondola stations everywhere, but to get off the main circuit according to the Fodors guidebook, the San Toma or Santa Sofia (near Ca' d'Ora) stations will get you some good interior canal rides.

Can anyone confirm this?
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Feb 7th, 2010, 05:52 AM
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We took an early evening ride and watched the full moon rise. Unforgettable!

Byrd
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Feb 7th, 2010, 07:49 AM
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Another vote for sunset. We boarded ours at Campo Santo Maria Formosa, if memory serves me well. Our tour was completely on narrow back canals in the Castello district. We explicitly told our gondoliere that we did not want to go on the Grand Canal.

Note that you can't actually see the sun setting because you are surrounded by buildings, but the mood was perfect. (You saw my photo in another thread Jill). There are, of course, plenty of places to actually see the sunset. We positioned ourselves on the Rialto Bridge on evening, crowded but fun.

Many people don't realize this, especially when they are on holiday, but the sun also rises, and that is a wonderful time to be out and about.

We did a 40 minute ride, but I wouldn't sweat that decision until you get there. You'll know what you feel like doing at the moment.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 07:53 AM
  #14  
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Yes, Nelson I remember your pictures and they were some of the best pictures I have seen. I thought about the sunrise option, but I am not sure if I want to wake up that early. Plus, there is somethng so romantic about ending your day with the gondola ride.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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Thanks again for comments on my pictures. I should clarify: I wasn't suggesting a gondola ride at sunrise, but given context of this thread it's easy to see how it came across that way, duh!

Due to my photography interest I'd get up and wander around at dawn and it was really nice. I'm an early riser anyway, so I realize this doesn't work for everyone.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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When we first got to Venice, I remember seeing the gondoliers during the day, chock full of people, sometimes several boats travelling in a group with extra musicians, and thinking that it looked like a pretty big, loud, raucous tourist trap. I couldn't see any reason to spend money on that.

Thank God my travel partners out-voted me.

We took picked a gondolier pretty much at random at dusk. We went a very short way on the Grand Canal, then turned onto a smaller canal for rest of the trip. By then it was pretty much dark.

Our gondolier did a half-hearted attempt at singing (we didn't care one way or the other), pointed out a couple of landmarks while we were still on the Grand Canal (his English was pretty rough), and then pretty much took his cue from us. We were absolutely enraptured. When we spoke, it was in very hushed voices. The smaller canals were so silent, so atmospheric, we just didn't want to break the mood. About the only sounds we heard were the gondoliers calling out as they rounded a corner (echoing beautifully), somewhere in the distance music from a church, and the small splashes of water on the boat.

It is now one of my most cherished memories of my trip to Italy.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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Yes, I hear that the gondola experience is all about how it is done. At sunset, in those back interior canals can make it magical. I would imagine that on the Grand Canal, it would just be too touristy and loud. Thanks for your insight GoAway. I still have faith in my gondola ride.
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