(closed in 2018)
The gondola ride is a unique experience that many people enjoy in Venice, Italy. The slow pace of the boat, coupled with a rich, romantic and relaxing atmosphere can create one of those moments in life when one may say "Ah, life is good." In Boston, there is actually an authentic gondola ride along the Charles River near the Esplanade. Gondola di Venezia gives the local folks here in Boston an opportunity to live out this once-in-a-lifetime experience without having to fly all the way to Europe. They feature an authentic, Italian-made gondola boat, a real gondolier with the matching attire, and a scenic route.
Aside from just the ride, you have the option of purchasing add-ons to further enhance your gondola experience. Live music on the boat may be requested by having an accordion player onboard. Italian-themed snacks like fruits, chocolates, cheese and crackers are also available to nibble on as one absorbs in the scenery. Although no alcoholic beverages are served, you may bring your own drinks and the gondolier can provide glasses, an ice bucket (with ice, of course) and a bottle opener. For the more demanding, a nicely packaged gift box with two wine or champagne glasses are also available for purchase. A bouquet of a dozen roses is also available for the romantics.
An amazing feature of the tours is an option to avail a "message in a bottle" surprise. It's one of the best methods to convey a special message for your companion on the boat. Whether it's to profess your feelings of endless love, express your sincere apologies, show your gratitude, or even propose, it can be quite effective!
The following is how the message in a bottle option works. One sends their message to the management of Gondola di Venezia. It can be 1-2 paragraphs or even just a few sentences, anything you would like. Once they have the message, they put it on a special piece of paper, insert it into a wine bottle and cover the bottle with a cork. The gondolier will have this bottle hidden from view during the ride. At a special private area of the Charles River, the bottle will be discreetly released into the water and the gondolier will manoeuver the gondola such that the bottle appears by the side of the person you wrote it to. You'll probably need your camera to capture the look on your special someone's face when he or she opens the bottle and reads the message!
Gondolas originally came from Venice, Italy, which is renowned worldwide for the beautiful scenery and setting. It is also famous for the many canals, 177 in total, which weave in and out of the city, dividing it into 117 small islands connected by 409 bridges. The maritime portion of the city has the canals serve functionally as roads, with all transportation occurring over water or on foot via the different walkways and bridges.
The gondola boat is the classic mode of transportation within Venice, but is now only used mostly for tourists and special events. The crafting of gondolas is now a rare art form, handmade using 8 different kinds of wood. Contrary to popular belief, these 30-foot or so water vessels are rowed by the gondolier using a long oar, not moved by a long pole, as in many other shallower lakes and rivers.
Contact Information & Address:
Gondola di Venezia
Reservations Are Required
Closed Mondays and July 3-4, May be Closed on Other Holidays
Gondola Berth and Info Booth (Near Hatch Shell)
Storrow Drive & Mugar Way, Boston, MA
Nearest MBTA: Arlington Station (Green Line)