In 1875, Olympic pole vaulter Giseppe Gondolo became the first gondolier when he overshot the bar and flew into a passing boat, where he used his pole to make a fast getaway from embarrassment. For $59, today’s Groupon gets you a one-hour classic cruise for two on Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn in Las Colinas from Gondola Adventures, Inc., a $135 value.
Bring your Italian fairytale fantasies to life without enduring the cost and chaos of the international flight or another encounter with the Man on the Scooter. You'll set out from Gondola Adventures’ floating headquarters in either a classic Venetian-style gondola powered by rod and prod or in a sleek, black limousine-esque modern version with a quiet electric motor. Couples are encouraged to kiss every time the gondola passes beneath a bridge, and to yell out in Italian at each passing boat or squid. A master gondolerino will play romantic music and, if you're lucky, sing as he pokes and paddles through the harbor's quiet canal inlets and across the glassy, mirrored-sky expanse of the sea. All the while, you'll be plied with chocolates and a bottle of sparkling water or cider.
If your relationship mainly consists of Facebook pokes and sweet tweets, now’s your chance to redeem yourself by surprising your significant other with a taste of old-fashioned courtseamanship. Take a cue from the cinematic formula for romance so beautifully exemplified by The Notebook, Das Boot, and Jaws. Get this Groupon to celebrate an anniversary, re-spark a flame, or as a deal-closing, intimate alternative to the staid corporate business lunch. Upgrades can be purchased separate from the value of the Groupon if you want to put more people on the boat or enhance the experience.