Learn To Be A Gondolier In Venice Italy

December 4, 2016
More than a lesson, a share of passion

Row Venice is a non-profit organization that works hard to rescue a very traditional Venetian boat almost forgotten. Back in the old times when Venetian were exclusively rowing everywhere, batelli code di gambero was the most common boat. Gondolas were made to be used by the richest. They were prettier but much smaller and less stable than the simple “shrimp-tailed” boats. Nowadays only 7 batelli code di gambero remain in Venice. Row Venice is investing every penny earned thanks to the lessons they offer. They manage to put back into the canal’s water 4 new boats until now. You can enjoy those lessons as a couple or a family; children are very much welcomed! There are 3 different kinds of class you can choose from on the website.

How did we find Row Venice in the first place

We went to Venice 20 years ago and came back with our children for the first time since. They were impatient to go to that legendary city. Indeed they were even more eager to go for a ride on a gondola. I wasn’t very keen on going for that widespread attraction, even more, when I saw the prices on the internet for 20 short min. I wanted to find something. It was important for my two teenagers, so that was on the “to do” list. When we go for a trip, we always make sure that everyone, especially the kids, gets involved in what we do once there. So they have to make they research and find one or even better several things they want to try. Gondola was on top of the list for both of them. We couldn’t possibly honour it! So there I was wandering on Viator for unusual activities in Venice and a gondola ride.

Our experience

No other words than delightful! We spend 90 min on the boat with the kindest teacher: Caroline Barray. Like us, she was French, and she chose to live her life somewhere else. I must say it was fun from the beginning for the four of us to be able to small-chat in our native language with someone else. It doesn’t happen that often. We met someone passionate about rowing, about Venice and who happened to be a talented artist too. She was patient and helpful. She succeeded in making the whole experience enjoyable for everyone. We learnt a lot about that beautiful city, and we discovered precious information about the Venetian rowing world.

Our teacher Caroline Barray
Share the passion

It’s my time to share that beautiful passion that moves the Row Venice team of volunteers. I advice everyone who goes to Venice to have a go. It is important to indulge in the traditions of a foreign place; it is even more important if it is meaningful to you and others!

When meeting other rowers, some more unusual than others!


If you want more travel ideas

A Day Escape From Edinburgh To Meet Nessie in Scotland

If you want to know more about Venice, we have 2 Guides ready for you:

Photo Guide Venice, Italy

Photo Guide Venice Islands, Italy


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unusual experience, slow travel, slow living, make your own experience, try for yourself, row Venice, no gondola involved, row yourself

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