Learn to Pole a Gondola in Venice

Learn to Pole a Gondola in Venice

Learn to Pole a Gondola in Venice

No visit to Venice is truly complete without seeing the city from the water. Venetians have been navigating the canals by gondola since the 12th century, and for many tourists it's still a must-do activity. But for those worried about the "tourist trap" stigma of gondola rides, there's another way. Instead of simply sitting back and letting someone else do the steering, why not take the helm yourself?

Opportunities to learn this age-old art range from tours created specifically for visitors to rowing club lessons open to all. If you want something more tourist-focused (meaning, you can count on someone speaking English!), try Artviva's two-hour "Learn to be a Gondolier" tour. For the more adventurous, Row Venice offers classes in English and Italian aboard a variety of gondola-like vessels. To learn more about Venice, check out our complete Venice travel guide.

Venice Trip Reviews

Gondola Lessons in Venice by Carolyn S.B.
 Rowing from this position, with feet planted firmly on the boat's bottom, toward the front, is the beginner's way to start. Because clumsy handling of the oar means it jerks out of the forcola's rungs on a regular basis, slapping into the lagoon with a splash, Jane ties the two together, loosely, with a shoestring. Ah, now that's easy. And so we move along, accompanied by the music of the relatively consistent slap, slap, slap of the oar against the water.

11 Best Travel Experiences in Italy

  1. Rent a Villa in Tuscany
  2. Learn to Pole a Gondola in Venice
  3. Stay in a Cave in Matera
  4. Immerse Yourself in Art in Florence
  5. Trek Cinque Terre
  6. Learn to Make Pizza in Sorrento
  7. Ride a Bike in Lucca
  8. Live Like George Clooney on Lake Como
  9. Drive a Ferrari Along the Amalfi Coast
  10. Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic in Perugia
  11. Train Like a Gladiator in Rome

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