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.
What You Can Expect
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.
Excellent and interesting time. Learned about how the gondolas are steered and now have a greater appreciation for how they do it. My guide [I was lucky enough to be solo and had an excellent young woman as an instructor] explained the process to me, showed me, let me try it myself and answered my questions openly. Very good experience.
Nice experience. It doesn't take as much effort and strength as I thought it would.