Gondola Ride along Grand Canal of 30 minutes - Grand Canal and canals of the centre of Venice
An unmissable opportunity to ride an authentic gondola in Venice and ride along the Canal Grande and the canals of the historic centre in a 30-minute ride.
The gondola is the typical boat of Venice which – until the advent of motorboats – was the most suitable and common way to move between the winding canals of the historic center of Venice.
It derives its name from the medieval Greek kondura of boat typical of the Upper Adriatic – similar to the sandolo or the mascareta that can be seen in some paintings by Carpaccio and Bellini – and used in Venice at least since the High Middle Ages.
At the time of the Serenissima, the gondolas of the nobles stood out for the decoration that gave luster to the patrician houses of the city. They often relaxed with the so-called freschi, evening gondola rides through the city’s canals, often accompanied by music.
Nowadays the old custom is intended for tourists who can enter the canals of the old town or the lagoon for a romantic tour of the city, also accompanied by music and songs.
What the 30-minute gondola tour includes
The tour includes a 30-minute gondola ride along the Grand Canal. It is a shared gondola that accommodates up to 5 people.
History of the Venitian gondola
The gondola appeared in historical documents only around the 10th century A. D. , but its name states an older origin.
So the kondura in medieval Greek was used to describe a boat typical of the Upper Adriatic – similar to the sandolo or the mascareta that can be seen in some of Bellini’s paintings – and used in Venice at least since the High Middle Ages.
So the kondura was similar to the current gondola but shorter and lower, and without the typical asymmetrical shape of the modern gondola. The bottom was shallow and flat to be able to navigate better in the shallow channels of the bars of the Venetian lagoon.
This brings us back to a much older document that testifies to the navigational abilities of the Venetians, that is, of those populations, who after the invasions of the Visigoths (401) and especially of the Huns of Attila (452), separated from the inland Aeneti and began to live on small islets of the lagoon, building stilts there. Here they moved for centuries on small boats of which there is no evidence but which were certainly – for functional reasons – very similar to the ancient kondura.
This is the document written in 537 AD by Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus, Prefect Praetorus of King Ostrogoth Vitige, to the Venetian Maritime Tribunals, in which the Senator asks for the intervention of the Venetian fleet to bring the rich annual production of wine and oil from Istria to Ravenna – capital of the Empire.
"...ubi alternus aestus egrediens modo claudit, modo aperit faciem reciproca inundatione camporum. Hic vobis aquatilium avium more domus est."
Go to the page of the gondola of Venice