Clever Laura figured out that though a gondola ride costs about 100 euros apiece, she could take a lesson on how to pilot a gondola for 60, and I could ride along for 40. So for half-price, we got an unforgettable adventure.
First we made our way from our apartment in the San Polo sestiere to the marina in the far north of Venice, in Canareggio, past the fishmarket (below left), over the Rialto Bridge (below right), past the train station and right to Canareggio. Along the ghetto’s winding streets past pensiones and shops, through an area largely devoid of tourist sights, which led me to conclude that actual Venetians live in the Canareggio.
Laura proved quite adept at piloting the unusual boat, which is twisted and weighted on one side to compensate for the gondolier’s weight. We were able to get a unique view of Venice (below right). She was good enough to be allowed to pilot our craft on the Grand Canal (below left).