We arrived in Venice on Thursday, October 11th. Marco and I had planned to communicate via email or text when we arrived in town and determine the best time for our gondola tour. I had ordered the 3-hour gondola ride + photo walk, putting a deposit down via PayPal on his website. My wife and I were just married two weeks prior and had been traveling in Italy for 12 days. Venice was our last stop and the surprise I had planned (Marco and his tour) would be perfect.
However, the weather did not cooperate. It rained horribly on Thursday, so Marco and I cancelled. We communicated the next morning, Friday, and decided to hold off a few hours. I was worried that it wasn't going to work out; we were leaving Saturday morning and if it didn't stop raining, Marco and I would have to cancel.
Finally, Friday afternoon we met. Marco met us at our hotel, and from there we walked around for about 45 minutes and took photos. My wife and I dressed up a bit--we wanted some great photos of the city and us--and Marco was great. He speaks excellent English, is full of knowledge about the city, and funny, too! I felt more like I was hanging out with a friend, not someone I had just met from halfway around the world.
As soon as we stepped on our gondola, the sun peaked through the clouds, and the rain stopped. It was beautiful weather! One of the reasons I chose Marco was that he was able to select the best gondolier and water tour--so we didn't have to fall into some sort of tourist trap or pay for too short or subpar trip. And boy was our gondolier great! Marco hopped in the boat, too, and Lucca took us on a 55 minute adventure around the city. We avoided the main waterways and stuck to back alleys and peaceful areas. Lucca has been working around gondolas and since he was 7 years ago, and his grandfather built the boat we were on. My wife really really really wanted him to sing (I had conveyed this to Marco ahead of time, even after Marco said "they don't really do that"!), and Marco must have asked Lucca really nicely to sing...and it was my wife's favorite part.
Overall I would highly recommend this gondola ride + photo shoot for any couple in Venice. It was worth every single Euro, a great way to see the city, and Marco was a gem. Thanks, Marco & Lucca!
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