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Reviewed 3 days ago

This was our second visit to Venice and our second gondola ride with Luca, we enjoyed it so much the first time! This is not the usual tacky, touristy ride. Luca is a third generation gondolier using his grandfathers gondola. He is very proud of his city and his craft. Luca gaves us a lot of information and facts about Venice, it's history and architecture, and serenaded us with a traditional Venetian song (no extra charge). He took us around the quieter, less touristy areas but also on the Grand Canal, very relaxing and enjoyable. We watched some other gondoliers who were not even speaking to their passengers and some were even talking on cell phones! All the prices are the same as they are set by the government, so if you are in Venice and want to have this typical Venetian experience, go with Luca, you won't be disappointed. You can e-mail him at luckyluca6@hotmail.com. He is very quick to respond.

Thank karen h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

It is romantic.
It is unique..you wont find all this experience elsewhere...
Its worth with a good or with a bad gondolier...doesnt matter...the concept is still unique ...enjoy it people

Thank hollyfrankk1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Had a 4pm boat ride. There was 6 of us on the gondola. Thankfully I was in the back. That is the ONLY good thing I can say. This gondola ride is 25mins (at that) long. You start off in a SMALL canal then make a left into another SMALL canal. You will see the back of restaurants and apartments. Absolutely nothing of picture quality. But you will remember the smell of raw sewage. Then u make a left to head to the Grand Canal. Again no need to take a picture. Another left into the Grand Canal, which u will take a picture of the Opera House. In about 10 mins it is another left back into a small canal to get back where we started. There was supposed to be a commentary but our rower said nothing not even his name. I only gave a 5 Euro tip is because one of the rowers saved me from falling into the sewage canal. Buyer beware, that is all I have to say.

Thank V9385RLrichardr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I had to enter a star just to write a review. I contacted Luca via email for a reservation for either Nov 4th or 5th. He replied promptly and informed me he doesn't work in November.

Thank refinedpalat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

One name has cropped up for us over and over, Luca. Unfortunately he wasn't working on the days we visited Venice, another name cropped up and we found the contact details for another lady called Chiara (search here for her number). We messaged her but heard nothing back so phoned her the next morning and she was free! Definitely call her, she said she isn't that good at reading her messages so leave a voicemail she is based in the Jewish quarter near the Campo del ghetto bridge.

She was lovely, she took photos of us and told us about the history of the areas we went around. She was happy for us to ask questions, she even sang for us which was a nice touch. She said not many gondoliers talk or sing to their customers anymore, It's just about the money. We went around the quiet canals and areas we wouldn't have seen otherwise. At first we were reluctant to just go ourselves, thinking it's a lot of money for someone to row you in a boat up the grand canal which is why we sought out Chiara. Going with Chiara was so worth it. It was quaint and very romantic, totally recommend.
If you cannot find her definitely share a gondola elsewhere if you can, it is not worth paying the full amount for yourselves, in my opinion, to not have the proper experience and to just go in a boat.

Do not go to Rialto bridge or San Marco for a gondola. You'll be in a sort of gondola train. The gondoliers will just take you out across the grand canal in a sort of line. They smoke and chat on their phones. It's built for tourists, avoid the tourist traps and go down one of the smaller canals for a more authentic experience.
You can go by yourself or find another couple to share with. The price is a flat rate of €80 for 30 minutes and €100 at night after 7pm, regardless of people on the gondola, it is not per person.

2  Thank MattH5858
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

First and foremost, I would like to thank Luca for the most breathtaking and wonderful experience I had while taking his Gondola ride on three different districts: Cannaregio, Santa Croce and San Polo. We took his Gondola ride on October 9th, 2018 at 11am. He was very kind and gave us his complete attention. It was a romantic tour inside small channels and away from the usual tourist routes. He explained everything around the area we were passing by (places info, history, statue figure faces on doors/windows etc) and provided us with his undivided attention. He made our journey into the canal unforgettable by ensuring it was a quite and romantic voyage without any distractions like other gondoliers will do (such as talking/yelling to other gondoliers friends, talking on their phone, or not explaining anything about Venice or its history etc).

Luca kept in contact with us via email and WhatsApp throughout the entire reservation process. He picked us up at Campo del Ghetto NUOVO at the exact time we agreed on the reservation. He was punctual and very professional. He even gave us a courtesy reminder a day before our reservation. It was completely worth it booking with Luca for his gondola ride/tour. At the end of the ride, he sang us a lovely Venitian song without expecting anything in return. Very humble, very friendly, very very professional in his job. I can assure you whenever I return to Venice and want to take a Gondola ride, I without any hesitation, will take it with Luca. If you're going to spend money on riding a gondola ride, you might as well get your monies worth and ride with a true professional and gentle person who I can assure you that will give you the best ride you will never forget. Romantic scenery and away from the chaotic touristic bundles of crowds that surround Venice. Peaceful and enjoyable to the max. Highly recommend his service. To book with him, you must email him at luckyluca6@hotmail.com

Thank you Luca once again. From U.S.A. we send you our best regards.

Thank Mario305miami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is such a swindle in organized gang! You’ve never seen such a pricey activity for something requiering juste a boat and a paddle! We don’t know his name but the guy on the picture attached was everything but nice, being on his phone all tour, and smoking cigarettes on cigarettes, throwing the butts in the canal of course! The tour lasted 21min and when we said so he told us « no it’s 26min and 30sec, the timer started when you stepped into the gondola. You BETTER WATCH THE VIEW INSTEAD OF WATCH THE CLOCK ». Avoid this guy at all prices, he is located on the grand canal near the « no mafia in Venezia » black sign.

Thank KatZub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We booked a private Gondola ride with three course dinner through Expedia.
We showed up on time. Manuel was (supposedly his name) very rude and our ride was a little uncomfortable because we would ask him questions and he was very rude with his answers. After the gondola ride was over he was supposed to give us detailed directions to the Marco Polo restaurant which was already paid for. He basically told us to walk straight for 10 minutes and we should find the restaurant. Two hours later we were so lost and obviously never found the restaurant. It was a horrible experience and couldn't get our money back and couldn't find a way to review this trip directly on Expedia. I'm hoping someone will find this review helpful and spare someone to save their money on a different excursion. It was a huge disappointment and we are so disappointed in Expedia for advertising such a horrible travel experience.

Thank Heather Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

First, I would like to explain that I've been posting this past summer's vacation in pieces as I've had the time but the entire trip/tour was with Trafalgar. Yes, they were a bit pricey but I believe that the resulting experience was well worth the extra money.
Venice was an absolutely exciting highlight of the entire Italy tour. Venice is actually a series of many islands. Wood which had been impregnated with mud had become petrified over time and this resulting wood was used to build an entire city on stilts. Within the city confines these islands are traversed by multitudinous bridges. More often we found ourselves transported by boat from the island where the hotel was to the mainland. The so called 'Bridge of Freedom' was given to Austria by Napoleon. This bridge was built to free the people to crossover to the mainland.
the Grand Canal of Venice is 3.5 km long. Venice is composed of 6 districts with only one piazza. The others are called campos or grassy fields.
People don't live on the first floors of their dwellings because of the obvious humidity issues. All fresh drinking water is filtered by sand - think I'll pass on that one.
Of course you must take a ride on a gondola through the canals of Venice. These 'boat's cost upwards of $52,000 dollars so expect to pay for the ride. However, with Trafalgar, it is included in your tour. In addition, a couple was celebrating their anniversary so the tour guide paid for the accompanying music also. Trafalgar has discretionary funds for such unforeseen events.
The whole concept of Mardi Gras, which we know as Fat Tuesday - the day before Ash Wednesday on the Christian calendar, is quite the extended event in Venice. The use of masks were so that people could disguise themselves. Therefore the peasants could mix with the royalty with no one the wiser.
Of course the Black Plague hit Venice hard with between 600,000 and 630,000 killed - almost 2/3 the population. Again, if you are fascinated with this period in time read Albert Camu's "Death in Venice". Although fictional, it will give offer you an initial portal into this period of history.
Hope you enjoy!

1  Thank Carol H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 3, 2018

How can you go to Venice without going in a Gondola? We researched a lot about this in tripadvisor prior to the trip and the one name that kept cropping up was Luca. Due to the great reviews he has on here we decided to book the 7pm - 120 minute journey he offered. Admittedly, it was over our budget at €200 due the the length of the journey and the time of day, but due to all the positive reviews (and negatives views left regarding some other Gondoliers) we thought it worth the punt. No pun intended..
I can thoroughly and wholeheartedly recommend this magical trip through Venice. Luca is a true gent and incredibly informative. He really did make the journey special for us both. Good luck in the future Luca. Jonathan and Tanya - Swansea, Wales, UK

1  Thank Jonathan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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