Venice 2013 Day 6: Gondola Ride

Our 6 days in Venice went very fast, today was our last day in this beautiful island!  We tried to enjoy it as much as we could since it will be years before we’ll have a chance to come back again! I woke up at 8 and hubby was still sleeping, I really wanted to go out to take photos of the early morning in Venice when it has less tourists.  I told my hubby that I’ll take a quick walk out to St Mark’s Square and be back soon haha!

Venice, looked very different during the early morning, the day, and the night but still beautiful on its own way. When I walked right out of the hotel, it was almost no one on the street!  The view of parked gondolas and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore on the back:

The hallway outside Doge’s Palace, it looked so different when it wasn’t packed with people!

Doge’s Palace:

There were a few early birds and joggers:

I really like the quiet side of Venice; I felt so calm and relaxed to enjoy this beautiful city.

I went back to the room and hubby was getting ready 🙂  We wanted to get something to eat before our adventure, the cheap and good place is Bar Mio (address is Teso Mauro right on Calle Frezzeria). We found this place three years ago and we found it again; it was very close to St Mark’s Square.  They have very good and inexpensive sandwiches, 1.7 euros each!

After a yummy breakfast, we took the water bus to San Giorgio Maggiore (we still have 12 hours left on our 36 hours travel card), I heard the view from the top of the bell tower there was the best, better than from the bell tower in San Marco. After we got off the stop at San Giorgio Maggiore, the view of San Marco here was awesome!

To entrance of the bell tower is located inside the church.  The church is worth a visit as well!

When we were there, they have a special collaboration with Swarovski which places a huge Swarovski crystal lens in the middle of the church to give a unique view of the church. The name of the crystal is “Perspective”.

Then, we followed the sign to the entrance of the bell tower.  We purchased our ticket and waited a few minutes for the elevator. It was a small elevator so maximum 6 people can get in at once, good choice that we came here early in the morning!

The view from the bell tower was amazing!  I would say it gives the best view of Venice from up top!

Looking down at the San Giorgio Maggiore island:

San Giorgio Maggiore church on the right and the Giorgio Cini foundation on the left.

View of St Mark’s Square:

Pier on the bottom, and San Marco on top:

Panorama of Venice!

The 360 view of Venice was incredible up here! We highly recommended it!

Afterwards, we took the elevator down and when we reached the ground floor, it was a line queuing already!

We got back to St Mark’s Square and I saw zig-zagging of gondolas!

For lunch, we walked around and tried to avoid restaurants at St Mark’s Square, we found this restaurant tucked under the bridge called Trattoria Alla Rivetta with Trip Advisor sticker! The cover of its menu is very unique so I took a photo of it!

We never had the spaghetti with cuttlefish ink sauce so hubby decided to try! It was pretty good but a little bit salty at the end (we heard about it being salty but it was less salty than we expected)!

I ordered a soup since I wanted something light and hubby ordered mussels as appetizer.

I saved room for tiramisu haha!  The tiramisu here was very smooth and creamy, only 5 euros! We both liked the tiramisu here than in Da Mamo. The bill came to 44.2 euros.

After lunch, we continued our way to explore the back roads on the right side of St Mark’s Square   We tend to spent majority of our time on the section between St Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge and never really stepped into the right side of St Mark’s Square  We passed by a gelato shop which Trip Advisor recommendation sticker so I had to go in to try!  I picked the coffee and rose flavors. Coffee flavor was good but I really don’t like the rose flavor that much since it has a little bit of bitter taste.

We just walked around without a map and stop to take photos whenever we spotted a nice view 🙂 I guess that was our favorite activity in Venice!

We ended up at San Lorenzo.  We liked the pattern of the huge wooden door!

We continued our back road walk, don’t ask me where we were, we had no clue haha!

After the wonderful walk, we went back to our hotel to rest a bit; it was getting hot out!  The sun during end of July was very strong and temperatures in the upper 80s!  Oh one thing I forgot to mentioned, Venice in the summer doesn’t smell bad!  A lot of people told me be prepared for the odor, majority of the time, we didn’t noticed any odor at all!

We went back out at around 5 pm and wanted to take a gondola ride!  We didn’t get a chance to take one last time we were here since it was so cold in March!  I read that the official price is 80 euros per ride for 40-50 minutes but not everyone followed that price.  I walked up to a gondola station right in San Marco and ask for the price, the guy said 120 euros!!! I said no thanks and walked away and then another guy ran to me and said 100 euros.  I felt like they were being dishonest so we said no thanks and walked away!  We walked to Campo San Moise and there was a station there.  I walked up to ask and the guy said 80 euros for 50 minutes…yep that’s the right price!  This gondola station is popular, we saw many tour groups took the gondolas from here. I think it is a company operated station. The down side is you can’t pick the gondola!  Since hubby wanted a very nice decorated gondola, we walked to the opposite side of the station where it seem like it is privately operated.  We asked for price and it was 100 euros for 50 minutes, but the gondola is what he wanted so we were willing to pay the 20 euros extra!

Off we go…our first gondola ride! We first started off going through back canals, the view of Venice from here is “up close and personal” I would say!

Hubby picked this beautiful gondola, doesn’t I look like a queen LOL!

Our gondolier was humorous and he throw me his gondolier hat as prop for my photos haha!

Then we got out to Rialto Bridge and the golden ray of sunset…perfect timing for photos!

Then, we got back into the back canals again.  This time, hubby came back to sit with me and we both spend the rest of the ride to enjoy the little canals of Venice!

The 50 minutes ride ended quickly! Our gondolier helped us take a photo together:

For dinner, we decided to go back to Alla Rivetta again since it was pretty close to our hotel and food was good. Hubby ordered a seafood soup, it was yummy!

Hubby ordered fish fillet and I ordered a steak, both were good. And we had to order tiramisu again for desert!  The bill was 66.1 euros!

After we finished our dinner, we left the restaurant and noticed the floor was wet and people were carrying their umbrellas!  We were so lucky that it was pouring out while we had dinner wohoo! Venice, sunset time after the rain:

Venice – we’ll miss this beautiful island, we hope we’ll have a chance to come back again later on!! I was very glad that we had 6 days in Venice, we were able to take it easy and truly enjoy Venice! Ciao!

6 thoughts on “Venice 2013 Day 6: Gondola Ride

  1. Those are very pretty pictures. We are taking a Greece islands cruise next year, and will depart the ship at Venice (Ravenna). May I ask if you have taken a train from Venice to Rome? I am thinking of whether to stay in Venice and visit Rome, or take the train to Rom and stay at Rome. Thanks.

    1. How many days you have? If you only have a few days, I recommend Venice, it’s compact, walkable, and you can do day trips too. Plus, you are boarding the ship at Venice, there’s a risk if you stay in Rome in case of a train strike then you can’t get to Venice on time!

      1. Thank you so much for your recommendations. We will come to Athens the night before to board the ship the next evening, and the cruise will end in Venice (Ravenna). We will also have a whole day in Venice the day before the cruise ends. Thus, I am thinking of visit Rome at the end of the cruise trip. Due to 2 for 1 airfare deal, we will have to return to states from Venice (Ravenna). Since it is still too early, Norwegian does not give us the actual airplane tickets yet. I think we only have two nights and maybe a half day. I will follow your advice to stay in Venice to visit those two islands on Friday. Hopefully, we will visit make a day trip to Rome (rent a car, train, or guide tour) on Saturday, and fly home on Sunday. Thanks, and happy Holidays.

        1. Save Rome for the next trip, it deserves more than a day trip. If you are running out of places to see in Venice, you can do day trip to nearby town like Verona and even see Lake Garda and/or Lake Como!

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