Sunday, 22 May 2016

How to cheat at Venice

Bridges, canals, and a cheeky ride on a gondola. Throw in a slice of pizza and a scoop of ice cream and that's about the size of most people's weekend breaks in Venice. But what many don't realise is just how much that oh-so-coveted gondola ride costs. They start at 80Euros -- extra if you want the gondola man (gondolier, I believe is the correct term, but please don't make me say it out loud) to sing. Naturally, longer rides cost more money. Having your eyes actually open incurs an extra charge, and if you want access to oxygen whilst you ride, take out a second mortgage right now.

A gondola ride is something that's been on my to-do-list forever (did I mention how much I'd always wanted to go to Venice?), but other things are also important to me. Things like not having to swim back to the airport because I can't afford the waterbus ticket, and being able to afford food for the fortnight between now and payday. Little things like that.

Long story short, the gondola ride was out of my budget, and so my dreams of being serenaded by an Italian sunk to the bottom of the canal like a dropped oar heading to a watery grave.

But alas! What's this on the horizon? A Traghetto? But it looks exactly like a gondola. That, my friend, is what it is, but without the hefty price tag.

Traghettos are effectively river buses, designed to ferry people across the Grand Canal. The Canal itself only has three bridges crossing it, which are pretty spread out, so for two euros, it's often easier to hop on  a Traghetto. Fair enough, the crossing only lasts for 30 seconds or so, and you'll be sharing it with a few strangers (it is a form of public transport after all), but it may well be the best two euros you spend in Venice.

People boarding the Traghetto

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