Venice gondola rides

Old Sep 20th, 2000, 10:40 AM
  #1  
L Welch
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Venice gondola rides

Please help me understand what to expect in arranging a gondola ride. I have heard it's expensive, but who knows if we'll ever visit again, so we're planning on doing it anyway. Is it easy to arrange? Are prices set, or should we be prepared to negotiate? (my knowledge of the Italian language is minimal - negotiation might be difficult?). Thanks.
 
Old Sep 20th, 2000, 02:17 PM
  #2  
Debi
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We took 2 gondola rides in Venice. They were a bit expensive, I'd have to do some research to remember how much, but the price was negotiated - and all the gondoliers we approached spoke English. They gave a couple prices, very short - a bit longer - and maybe real long (which might be about 30 minutes), and you started from there. Don't worry about the language problem. I'll try to figure out how much we paid. We just went in May... My fiance proposed to me on one of the gondola rides we took... It was pretty romantic...
 
Old Sep 20th, 2000, 02:47 PM
  #3  
Carey
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When in Venice, you have to do it. But I would only recomment once. It is a real rip-off. If you do decide to do it, make sure that you find someone who is not on the grand canal. I would also recommend doing it at night. It is very romantic. They have gondola ride until 10 or eleven at night. We paid about $150.00 for a medium length ride. My fiance was going to propose as well, but we went at 6 pm at night. There were traffic jams on the canal, and it was really busy, not too romantic. Our ride maybe last 20 minutes at best. It definately isn't worth the money, but it's hard to say that you didn't do it while in Venice!
 
Old Sep 21st, 2000, 06:46 AM
  #4  
Paulo
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Wow, Carey! $150 for a 20 minute ride? Last time we went on a gondola ride with our daughters we managed to bargain down from Lit 140,000 to Lit 100,000 for a 50-minute ride. This was quite a while ago. I would guess that today one shouldn't pay more than Lit 150,000 for a 50-minute ride (which they have a tendency to shorten to 40-45min). Instead of taking a gondola on the Grand Canal (in Rialto) or in the Giudecca Canal (San Zaccaria) I recommend to get one on a small canal when strolling from San Marco to Rialto (don't remember the right spot ... I think it is in front of hotel San Marco but I may be wrong). Starting on a small canal you may ask the gondolier to keep at least half of the itinerary on smaller canals before hitting the Grand Canal.

If you're a couple which doesn't care to have the gondola to yourselves, you may consider using the Amex service. Last time I checked (also quite a while ago) they asked $20/person.

Paulo

 
Old Sep 21st, 2000, 06:10 PM
  #5  
Marty
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We paid too much the first time we went. We rode with some friends in June, and the ride was much cheaper, because of the location of our starting point. We paid $60 for five of us and rode for about 45 minutes. We found some gondolas along a smaller canal. We went in the late afternoon.
 
Old Sep 21st, 2000, 09:37 PM
  #6  
L Welch
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Thank you all for your replies. I'm feeling much more confident about doing this now.
 
Old Sep 24th, 2000, 05:32 PM
  #7  
Rod Hoots
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Take the American Express tour that includes a guided visit to the beautiful Friari church plus a group gondola ride. A couple of years ago, it was 40,000 Lire. Leaves the AE office, near San Marco Square, at 4 PM every day.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2000, 06:31 AM
  #8  
Marija
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Took a gondola ride last week at night (surcharge after 8 PM but definitely worth it since the small canals are almost empty at night). Settled on a price of 150,000 L ($70) for what turned out to be a 40 minute ride. Although it's a touristy thing to do, if you wait until the crowds are gone the ride is beautiful. Make sure to start on a small canal and indicate that you want to stay on the small canals. Don't go out during the middle of the day when everything is very congested.
 
Old Sep 27th, 2000, 08:43 AM
  #9  
Diane
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Thank you ALL for a great discussion -- this is really useful information to have. It's almost time to get serious about planning our trip to Italy in May 2001, so I'll save this thread in my trip folder...
 

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