“Gondola, gondola…” Those were the two words in the song that our gondolier sung us that I could understand and they echoed down the quiet canals of Venice.  A gondola ride is everything you would expect it to be.  You ride a quite little boat through the twisting canals and enjoy the rustic old buildings that surround you.  Somehow your gondolier knows which buildings are Vivaldi’s house and Marco Polo’s house.  It’s unique and it’s dreamy.  A gondola ride is a must-do if you’re visiting Venice.  After all, isn’t that what Venice is really all about?

Although the gondola ride is a must-do. Be prepared for the price.  For the two of us, it was €120.  The 2008 version of Rick Steve’s Venice is out of date by the way and the prices have gone up quite a bit since he wrote the book.  The water taxi is no longer €90, it’s an even €100.  But, don’t worry, because the prices are so high, gondoliers and taxi drivers don’t expect to get tipped.

One tip for choosing a gondola ride, take one in the area that you want to see the most.  We just sort of stumbled upon ours and I think that if we had taken it closer to our hotel (we were lost trying to find the Rialto Bridge) we would have been able to see the front of it from the Grand Canal much better.  However, I was still pretty satisfied with our 45 minute ride through the inner canals, as that was what we were interested in the most. We did get to see the Rialto Bridge, but we never found it on foot.   It’s easy to get lost in Venice and that’s really part of its charm.  Just walk around, ride a gondola and get lost.