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Venice - gondola ride on side canals

Old Apr 6th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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Venice - gondola ride on side canals

HI....A teen with us....Where are the best stops in Venice to find a gondola to enjoy the side canals? What time of day do you suggest for this? If we are 3 people, will there be room for others on the gondola so we can share costs? How long a ride are we talking about? About how much should we expect to spend for this ride in JUNE? THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Sandy G
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 01:53 PM
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Sandy G-

I'm glad I found your question before I posted! I am going to watch your posting closely as we will be in Venice in June, with a teenager! Also-I saw a website where you could pre-book/purchase gondola rides for about 29-39e p/p. I'm not sure if it's worth booking in advance or if that is even a good price. Have you found this type of offer in your searches?
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 02:43 PM
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We paid 90E at lunch time in August on a side canal for six people including 3 teenagers. It went for about 45 minutes. The guy sang the entire time.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 01:15 PM
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We have been advised to go in the early evening, but I know it is more expensive then. We just don't know where we should try to board a gondola for a side canal experience.

Our tour group is prebooking an afternoon experience for the GRAND CANAL

We are hoping to do this on July 5 or 6th. Would it work?
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 04:31 PM
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We went out just after dusk even though I knew the cost would be higher. For the four of us on the side canals we paid €120 including the tip for about a forty minute ride. Our gondolier was very disinterested and did not sing and barely even gave us any history. He did sneeze, cough and blow his nose a lot so I guess he was just under the weather. Just our luck!
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 05:24 PM
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Three suggestions:

Take a traghetto across the Grand Canal. It costs 50 cents per person. There are traghettos at the Rialto market, also about 100 yards down from the Rialto Bridge, and several other places. It is good form to stand in the traghetto, not sit down, and there's no singing.

You could take a gondola ride from Campo San Barnaba – there are generally a couple of guys there touting for business, and the Campo is on a side canal.

Here’s the exciting one – if the tide is low, a gondola can go UNDER the church of San Stefano – the only place where a canal passes under a building. That might need a bit of negotiation – at high tide, a gondola can’t pass under the church.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Maybe I'm misremembering, and I don't seem to have included the info in my notes, but I think we paid 70 Euros in the fall of 2009 for a gondola ride on side canals for 3 people.

That ride, we went to a gondola mooring place on Campo Santa Maria Formosa. We didn't go on the Grand Canal at all, which is what we wanted. We went in the late afternoon.

On another trip, we took a gondola ride that was on the side canals that started from Ca'Doro. We took this ride at dusk, and it was kind of interesting as the lights in the buildings came on.

I wouldn't rate the gondola ride as my top experience in Venice; the boats go very slowly; I'd rather walk. The only reason we took a second gondola ride was that our 11yo daughter was with us on that trip. But I will say that you do get a different view of the buildings from the canals.
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Old Apr 8th, 2011, 12:19 AM
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Peter, we caught a traghetto and there was no way the chap who was running the show would let us stand. I bet they live in fear of tourists ending up in the Canal. I thought it was great fun though and would recommend it. You probably look a bit less like a tourist these days!
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