An Italian Adventure – A Gondola on the Grand canal

As you will have probably seen in my last post, my dream came true and as part of my birthday surprise I was able to go on a boat for the first time ever.  I was having the best time, being able to get off the boat and explore made my day even better. I was guided away from St Marks square, along a narrow street filled with designer shops such as Christian Dinosaur and Dino & Gabanna.

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Stopping by a small bridge, I noticed a queue of people. One bonus of visiting Venice on an organised tour is being able to avoid queues for Gondolas and the excessive prices. To keep the cost down I decided to join 6 humans on their Gondola ride, making it 23 euro rather than 100+ which it would have cost if I had a private ride.

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The gondola ride was a totally different experience to anything I have ever done. Firstly, it was very scary getting into the Gondola because it felt like it would tip over at any point and I didn’t want to go into the smelly canal. There was 2 people helping everyone to get on the gondola. I was sharing with a lady who used a walking stick, so for anyone unsure if they can manage, you will be able to enjoy this once in a lifetime trip.  The hardest part is getting on the boat, after that plain sailing (pardon the pun).

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Sadly the gondola man didn’t sing the Cornetto song as I had hoped, so I decided to sing it for him (sorry humans!). But, I did see a couple on a really romantic ride, complete with singing.

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Many people have told me that the smaller canals in Venice are very eerie but I didn’t experience this.  The canals were very quiet and cool in the shade, a welcome break from 100 degrees and crowded streets.

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One tip when looking at going on a gondola is where you want to go. Going on the Grand Canal will raise the price, and increase your chance of getting stuck in gondola traffic.

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I loved seeing the ‘real Venice’ down all of the smaller canals with some of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen.  The water was not choppy at all, which meant that we floated along silently.  It was very relaxing and similar to being in the countryside.

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Relaxing part of the tour over, it was like another world going on to the Grand canal.  As we got closer and closer, the crowds appeared of the paths next to the water. Big boats went by and the water began to get choppy. I found this quite scary because gondolas aren’t the most sturdy of boats.

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However, seeing the main tourist attractions of Venice from a different angle provides you with a unique view of them and helps you to see them at their best. Seeing the Rialto Bridge from the water was incredible, you don’t realise how big it actually is until it is in front of you.

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Alas, after 40 minutes my tour was over, I had done a big circle on the waterways of Venice. Relaxed and rejuvenated, I was ready to begin exploring on foot. Stay tuned to see where I went next!

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