If you don’t ride a gondola while in Venice, you upset the equilibrium in the universe. Fortunately, there are approximately 2,976 gondoliers in each of Venice’s 150 canals.
Gondola tours vary – from a romantic ride in an exquisitely elaborate boat with proper thrones, punted by a gondolier in a stripey shirt and straw hat, singing as he glides you down the blue-green water….to a guy in a sweaty tee shirt, texting on his cellphone while punting a modest gondola-shaped canoe stuffed with people.
We opted for a group tour of about 30 minutes, booked through a tourist office. Our gondola friends were two Asian chicks, taking turns posing for photos in Venetian masks, a guy from Rome and his Russian girlfriend.
Not the picture-perfect tour of the movies, but still a great experience – and there’s no better way to see Venice than from the water.