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 $65, today’s Groupon gets you a one-hour classic cruise for two on the Mandalay Canals and Lake Carolyn from Gondola Adventures (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 either Gondola Adventures’ floating headquarters or the nearby Omni Mandalay Hotel. A master gondolerino will either sing or play romantic music as he pokes and paddles through quiet canal inlets on to the foamy heads of waterfalls or across the glassy, mirrored-sky expanse of the lake. You'll be plied with chocolates and non-alcoholic sparkling wine. Thanks to Irving's 1888 anti-hoedown law, if you want alcoholic wine you'll have to purchase it from the Omni Mandalay Hotel and have them cork it and bring it down to the boat.
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 courtsmanship. 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.