Private serenades are uncomfortable in taxicabs and on airplanes with only two passengers, but romantic when conducted on a boat. Enjoy the transporting combination of song and watercraft with today’s Groupon: for $34, you get a 50-minute Casanova gondola tour for two on Lake Merritt from Gondola Servizio in Oakland (a $65 value).
Gondola Servizio sends buoyant ballads over the waters of Lake Merritt on scenic gondola tours. The Casanova tour serenades nautical pairs with the same notes that bounce through the canals of Venice as they float past the sights and sounds of Lake Merritt's scenic shores. Guests can bring their own wine along for the ride, and Gondola Servizio provides the rest of the scene-setting essentials including glassware, a bottle opener, blanket, and candlelight. Gondola tours are ideal for a romantic getaway with your autographed poster of Bob Seger, or as a gift to remind mom of her miming days in Italy. When giving this Groupon as a gift, redeem the code at the on-site gift shop to receive a gift certificate printed on elegant Gondola Servizio stationery, available by pick-up at the gift shop.
After meeting on a gondola ride, April Quinn and Angelino Sandri started Gondola Servizio to bring the charm of Italy to California. An on-site gift store spotlights Venetian imports, and the Lake Chalet restaurant and bar offers tranquil outdoor dining with panoramic views of the lake, easing your separation from its watery embrace after a long gondola jaunt.
After meeting and falling in love on a Venetian gondola ride, April Quinn and Angelino Sandri decided to bring that romantic experience to others with Gondola Servizio. Drawing from a mutual love for Venetian boating culture and history, they’ve assembled a staff of skilled gondoliers to lead intimate nautical cruises. On these excursions, personal gondoliers in traditional dress serenade passengers with lilting Italian melodies and half-remembered TV-sitcom themes. When not leading standard tours, gondoliers work with professional photographers to orchestrate on-water photo shoots.
Each gondola carries up to six passengers, and sandolos offer a smaller, though still traditional, boat alternative. Gondolas with felzes boast an on-deck cabin where guests sit sheltered from the elements on a love seat behind etched glass windows. A flexible schedule allows significant others to arrange lunchtime jaunts around Lake Merritt or romantic evening cruises beneath the moon’s jealous gaze. While on land, visitors can enter the Bottega Veneziana gift shop inside the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill, which abounds with locally handcrafted jewelry as well as imported shawls, Venetian chandeliers, and the fossilized remains of the first known cannoli.