Gondola rides and children….. save your money
“Children should be seen and not heard’.
Can’t recall who came up with that gem, but until today I
didn’t buy into it.
And then we took a Gondola ride in Venice.
The ‘classic’ thing to do when you’re in the Italian city
famous for its waterways and chanels.
gondolier dressed in a blue and white striped shirt, singing as he slides under
bridges, around corners, navigating the waterways out into the Grand Canel.
Kandi and I snuggled into the ‘lovers’ seats at the front…
Liam, Laura, Nick and Tim (two lads from Texas) rounded out
the 4 other seats.
4 kids? That alone was enough to end the moment, but we
pressed on believing the experience would be just as special for them.
1 minute in…
“Hey guys, why don’t we just be quiet and enjoy the evening
sights and sounds?”
The tranquility lasts a good :45 seconds….
“Look! A dead
pigeon in the water! No, it’s
Story continues below
still alive, can we save it?”
The gondolier did his best, scooping it to a ledge where it
“That was cool!
Did you see that? It was
still flapping its wings!”
We press on, with a gentle reminder of the evening sights
3 minutes in…
“Quale sarebbe il problema? (what’s the problem?)
“La smetta di siguirmi!” (quit following me!)
Our bird loving Gondolier starts chirping at the Gondolier
ahead of us. Really don’t know
what they’re yapping about, but this back and forth exchange continues around
several corners and under several bridges.
“Are they going to fight?
“Just be quiet”.
10 minutes in…..
They finally settle their dispute, in time for our man to
light up his 3rd cigarette.
Obviously, arguing while gondoliering is stressful.
15 minutes in….
6th cigarette. Don’t think we’ll be getting serenaded any time soon. Tough
to sing and puff at the same time.
20 minutes in….
25 minutes in….
“Wouldn’t it be cool to rip around here with a jetski?”
27 minutes in….
No longer looking at the sights and taking in the sounds,
now really interested in whether he’ll finish an entire deck of smokes in one
Our romantic glide comes to an end.
Travel Tip: (Only if
your kids are old enough to leave alone for half an hour.)
Give them 2 Euros each to buy corn to feed the pigeons at
St. Marks square. They’ll be
entertained with birds perching on them while you dash off for romance on the
St. Marks is just like the movies—stunning. But it’s not cheap. 6 Euro ($8.75 Canadian) for a tiny
cappuccino in the main square. If
you’re so inclined, pick the outdoor café nearest the music where you can enjoy
‘live’ performances of some of the classics.
While the Gondola ride was a bit of a flop, Venice was a lot
of fun. It’s incredible how the city really does function with nothing but
boats to get around. We stayed on
the Lido, a nearby island which is where everyone goes to enjoy the beach.
Buy a day long Vaporetto ticket (water buses) and pop around
the city getting on and off wherever you want.