4.5 star rating: Recommended 23 Reviews

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  • Location: Venice, Italy
  • Duration:  90 minutes (approx.)
Learn how to be a gondolier in Venice on a 1.5-hour gondola experience on the city’s beautiful canals! Meet your instructor, and learn how to maneuver a ‘gondoletto’ (training boat) around the Venetian lagoon and glide through the quieter city canals.

Numbers are limited to 6 on this small-group activity, ensuring personalized attention at all times.


  • 1.5-hour gondolier experience in Venice
  • Learn how to be a gondolier from a local expert
  • Glide around the canals on board a sturdy gondoletto, a training boat
  • Discover how to stop, steer and row effectively
  • Hear tales about the lives of gondoliers and the history of the iconic gondolas in Venice
  • Small-group experience with a maximum of 6 people ensures a personalized experience

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

This is the only tour where you can learn how to be a gondolier! It's great fun and an interactive experience.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Venice Gondola School: Learn How to Be a Gondolier

Learn how to be a gondolier in Venice!

Meet your instructor in a quiet area of Venice, and then head to the waterside where your gondoletto is ready and waiting for you. More stable than traditional gondolas, gondoletti have been used for centuries to train the Venetian gondoliers.

Start your experience with some on-land training to learn how to keep your balance on the water. Then, hop aboard your gondoletto and discover the tricks to gently row, steer and stop on the open water. Each group member will take turns at the helm, and your instructor will be close by to give you all the attention you need.

Stand facing the bow, and learn how to row with your long single oar. Practice your strokes on quieter canals; when you feel more confident, head out along the picturesque canals.

As you glide, listen to your instructor talk about the history of the boats and of life as a gondolier in Venice. Dating back some 1,500 years, gondolas were invented to help the early Venetians travel around the waters of the Venetian lagoon. Competition for the ancient job is still fierce, and there’s a grueling training program for all wannabe gondoliers. To qualify, trainees must study Venetian history and architecture, a foreign language and sailing techniques. At the end of their apprenticeship, gondoliers must pass a comprehensive exam before finally taking to the water.

After nearly 1.5-hour of learning how to be a gondolier, return to dry land and bid your instructor a fond farewell. Your gondolier experience finishes in the same place as the starting point.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

My instructor, Caroline, was amazing! On the day I arrived I was the only one rowing so she gave me lots of personal attention and was great with communication. It's a great experience to have and a unique spin on navigating the canals and lagoon of Northern Venice as a tourist. The company provides directions to the meetup spot and lets you know to allow plenty of time to arrive since Venice is tricky to commute in. Highly recommended experience.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Great lesson

From USD $ 90.33

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Tour code: 6144GONDOLIER


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