Gondola used to be the main means of transportation for Venetians pretty much up until the invention of motorboats.
First mentioning of gondola was in 1094: the same year St. Mark’s Basilica was consecrated.
At the beginning you could decorate and colour your gondola however you wanted. Wealthy noble families would even risk bankruptcy in order to maintain their appearances and continued to decorate their gondolas.
Back in the past, gondolas could even be covered up with a wooden cabin called fez.
It was the Senate that ended this extravagance and put out a law to ban decorations and to make all gondolas black.
Today’s use of gondolas is mainly touristic: you can take a gondola ride pretty much anywhere in the city. The price is fixed, it’s 80 € for 30 minutes.
There are also wedding gondolas…
… or funeral gondolas.
But the ones we love the most is ‘traghetto’. Traghetto means ‘ferry boat’ but it is actually a shuttle service across Grand Canal. One of the things about traghetti to love the most is that you can get a gondola ride spending just 2€! Of course this will last only two minutes, but that’s the way locals do it.
And please don’t forget our friends in Las Vegas who work really hard to keep Venetian traditions alive in the United States of America!