I firmly believe the travel deities were looking out for us on our last day in Venice. After two days of cold, overcast, rainy weather, the sun finally emerged in all its beauty. It was the perfect morning for a gondola ride. Upon recommendation of our hotel staff, we walked to the San Moise gondola station near Hotel Bauer.
The gondoliers were just getting started for the morning, and we were the first passengers of the day at 9am. Our gondolier offered us a 30(ish) minute ride for €80 which coincided with what our hotel told us it would be. Online reviews said not to expect your gondolier to sing or give any sort of guided tour unless you pay extra, but ours was so friendly and cheerful– he started serenading us within the first few minutes. He also pointed out important landmarks like Mozart’s house. The boat ride began in the smaller canals and then went into the Grand Canal near the Rialto bridge with a view so spectacular, Holden and I couldn’t help but to take an obligatory selfie together.
Some people argue that gondola rides in Venice are overrated tourist traps and not worth the cost, but I’ve had it on my bucket list since watching “Only You” with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. in middle school. After experiencing it firsthand, I can say with full confidence that the memory of our €80 gondola ride is absolutely priceless.