Cruise across the Grand Canal for €2.
Hiring a gondola in Venice isn't cheap: The official fare for a 40-minute ride is €80, or €100 after 7 p.m.
If your gondola budget is in the single digits, try a simpler (though quicker) alternative: A traghetto crossing of the Grand Canal for two euros.
What a traghetto is:
The word "traghetto" means "ferry." In Venice, it describes a large gondola rowed by two oarsmen.
Half a dozen traghetto lines cross the Grand Canal, and most of them have been operated by the same families for generations.
How to ride a traghetto:
- As you're walking around Venice, look for yellow or white "Traghetto" signs, or find traghetto routes on your map.
- Follow the signs down to the water, where you'll find a wooden boat pier.
- Board the traghetto and hand €2,-- to an oarsman. (If you don't have exact change, use a small banknote.)
- Find a place to sit. (Venetians traditionally stand during the crossing, but sitting is safer if you aren't used to bobbing boats.)
- When the boat arrives on the other side of the Grand Canal, exit promptly.
Note: Traghetti operate during daylight hours only, often with a break for lunch. There are no official timetables: The boats travel back and forth almost continuously, taking two or three minutes to cross the Grand Canal.