VENICE, Italy — It is carnival season again in Venice in Italy, which is perhaps one of the most romantic cities in the world, particularly by night!
And one of the unique charms or attractions of the lovely and quiet community surrounded by a lagoon is its gondola ride, which you can take by day or by night. Each — the day ride or the night cruise — has its own unique charm, the day ride to experience how locals go about their normal busy everyday lives and the night cruise for a leisurely feel of the mystical quiet of the city in the evening, so it is best to try both.
The gondola itself is a sight to behold. A light flat-bottomed boat with high point ends powered by a gondolier who stands on the stern and rows with an oar, cruising gently along the historic lagoon city’s river canals with an endless view of magnificent palaces, establishments and buildings.
No visit to Venice is ever complete without a gondola ride!
According to Venice souvenir pamphlet, the exact birth date of the gondola is unknown. As to the creation of the gondola, Venetians like to believe in the legend that says that the gondola was originally just an incandescent moon “sickle” that took a dive into the lagoon and became a matchmaker for two young lovers who were looking for a safe haven where they could keep their happiness a secret to the whole world. Because of this legend, a gondola is typically made of incandescent metal body, with a toothed iron at the bow and a curved iron in the stern.
Believed to come from the verb “dondolare” (to swing) and the Greek word “kountelas” (short boat) or Latin word “cunula” (baby cot), gondola was first documented in 1094 by Doge Vitale Falier.
Today, there are only around 500 gondolas in Venetian lagoon, as opposed to 10,000 in 1580. A ride in one of these gondolas takes one from Mozart’s house in Venice to that of famed soprano Maria Callas. — Photo, video by Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo