Venice: Small Group Shared Gondola Ride on the Grand Canal
- Small group
- Skip the ticket line
- Duration: 45 minutes
Referred to as the heart and soul of Venice, the Grand Canal is the longest of the city's 120 canals. Stately homes of former merchants line its 2.5-mile, serpentine banks, reflecting centuries of wealth that have flowed into this majestic port city.
The first settlers to arrive on the marshy islands of the lagoon were refugees fleeing from Huns and Visigoths after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD.
Venice built the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, with the hope that the Virgin Mary's intervention would rid the city of the Black Plague. "Salute" means "health" in Italian.
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges that span the canal, and it was the only one until the 19th century. First made of wood, the newer stone version was erected in 1591.
The gondola was the original form of transport through the canals from the 12th century, until speed boats made their roaring debut eight centuries later.Venedigs Markenzeichen
Over 170 buildings along the canal reveal the ages of architectural influences on the city. The oldest is the 13th-century palazzo Ca' da Mosto in Venetian-Byzantine style.
The "vaporetti" (water buses) cost €8.50 per ticket from the train station to Piazza San Marco and run every 10 minutes. The trip on Line 2 takes 20 - 30 minutes, and 45 minutes on Line 1. The "taxi acquei" (water taxi) costs €110 from the airport to a hotel, and, depending on the distance, between €40 - €70 within Venice itself.
A typical ride lasts 40 minutes and costs about €80. Add another €40 per 20-minute increment thereafter. The price goes up after 7:00 pm to €100 and costs €50 for every 20 minutes thereafter. In the end, it is always wise to agree on the price with the gondelier before setting off.
This "water ferry" is a cheap alternative to traveling by gondola and costs €4 for a five-minute ride across the Grand Canal. The difference between a traghetto and gondola is that two people are rowing, and passengers generally stand for the short trip.
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