Gondole for everyone !
The venetian Gondola was the main type of transportation for Venetians, even outside the city..we can say until the invention of motorboats. But that was in particular for very rich people, a kind of limousine ;)
First mentioning of gondola was in the far 1094. That was a very important year, it was the same year when St. Mark’s Church (Basilica di San marco) was consecrated.
Ancient gondola in Ca' Rezzonico museum
It is 11 metres long, made up of 280 different pieces of wood and is painted with seven layers of black paint. It can be steered by a single gondolier with just one oar!
What about colours?
At the beginning you could decorate and paint your gondola however you wanted. Didn't you know that? We don't think you knew that because the typical gondola nowadays is a black gondola!
Hovever, wealthy noble and rich families could even risk bankruptcy in order to maintain their appearances and have colourful and unique gondolas. So they kept on to decorate their gondole.
Back in the past, gondolas were covered up with a wooden cabin called felze.
The Venetian Senate ended this extravagance mood of decorating trought a law to evem ban decorations and to make all gondolas black... gondole that everyone knows.
Today Venetian people are not using gondolas anymore.. but tourists can take a gondola ride pretty much anywhere in the city. The price is fixed, it’s 80 € for 30 minutes during the day and 100 € during the night.
There are also wedding gondolas…
… or funeral gondolas.
But the ones we are still using and that we love the most is the so called "traghetto". Traghetto means "ferry boat", a public service across Grand Canal. The faster way to cross it! This is a very cheap service, just 2€! Of course this will last only few minutes, but that’s the way locals doa. and finally you can share a gondola with Venetian people.
By Free Walk in Venice
Isola Tour project
4 meeting point, unlimited knowledge and fun for our Venice free tours.