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.