The gondola used to be the city’s main transport mode back before boats were in favour and today it is really aimed more for a leisurely experience.
Possibly the most recognizable (and cliché) symbol of Venice, a gondola ride is a fun experience for a first timer in Venice. I’m not sure I would need to do it again, but it was worth it to catch the views from a perspective so close to water. I would definitely suggest a ride either really early in the morning or evening when the sun starts to show signs of the golden hour and when there are fewer people around. It really was a soothing experience, where we gently rocked back and forth with the waves and you see the water lapping against the old stone walls as we glide by. With our appetites growing, it was interesting to study the erosion from the water on walls and see so many doorsteps beneath the water. I loved seeing the mythical symbols above doors and catch a glimpse of secret gardens and the sweetest balconies. We pass tiny beautiful streets where the walls start to turn more golden as time drifts by and we observe the peaceful life the evening offers us. We pass hidden piazzas, wooden boats, hear noise from kitchens that are prepping for dinner, pass the back sides of restaurant salons and end our journey at Da Ivo, where our table awaits.