If you have ever gone to Italy and enjoyed a gondola ride in Venice – or done so from the day dreams of your easy chair – we discovered a day event that will let you live it for real.

Gig Harbor Gondola is the result of an American in love with Venice. John Synco thought that the small harbor provided just the right spot for rowing. John purchased the gondola from friends in California that had imported it from Venice and resold it to him.

The trips in the gondola are 60 or 90 minutes. They include is a nice snack box from the Gig Harbor General Store that contains cheeses, crackers, olives, sausage and grapes.  Guests can bring the beverage of their choice – we brought cans of bubbly from Coppola wines as our boating wine of choice that comes with straws.  

As you are rowed around the Harbor your gondolier sings for you, provides history about the Harbor and some of the buildings along the way. The views are spectacular of Mt. Rainier and local wildlife. Make your reservations to pick days with the best weather.  We received our event as a gift and I would suggest it a perfect gift as events do not require a particular size and offer no clutter to the recipient. GigHarborGondola.com, (253) 432-0052 runs all year long and decorates their gondola for holiday cruises.

Gig Harbor has a nicely compact downtown with plenty of all day parking especially if you come during the week for your event.  There is a nice city park right on the water less than a block from the marina and with clean public restrooms.  We enjoyed taking an easy walk around the downtown shops while waiting for our gondola to launch.  One shop – For the Love of Spice – has olive oil and wine tasting, along with a full range of spice selections from simple spuntino to full meal cooking.  The owner Windy Payne is very knowledgeable about Italy from her own travels.

Before returning to Seattle we wanted to keep the Italian flavor of the day date and enjoyed dinner at Massimo Italian Bar and Grill on Purdy Drive.  The restaurant is located just a few feet above sea level giving us a great view of the harbor to finish our gondola day. 

Joel Patience is a watercolor artist and free lance writer that derives his inspirations from travels with his wife Dale Bonn.  The basis for this story was a shorter trip than usual.