It’s been three years since John Synco realized his dream of starting his own Gondola business, Gig Harbor Gondola. But John isn’t Italian. Nor does he live in Italy. He is just another amazing entrepreneur in the small town of Gig Harbor Washington who made his dreams come true.
John had been a professional Gondolier in Southern California for several years starting in 2002. He had traveled to Venice
several times and loved the beautiful boats and the life of the Gondolier.
A friend of John’s purchased two authentic Venetian Gondolas a few years back. At the time John was living with his wife and young daughter in Edmonds, having recently left California for Washington. John wanted one of the gondolas, but knew the waters in Edmonds wouldn’t be conducive to a peaceful gondola ride.
So after searching the area, the family moved to Gig Harbor, with its peaceful small harbor, to start Gig Harbor Gondola. His new Venetian Gondola christened Nellie. A dream realized. Three years later John’s business is his full-time, year-around job. And he is so good at it.
I took my Mom on the gondola for an evening one-hour tour of the beautiful Gig Harbor Bay. The $85 one hour tour is for two people. You can add up to four more people for $20 each. You can also do a one and half hour tour for $115 for two people and again each additional person is $20 up to six people maximum.
The Gig Harbor Gondola price includes appetizers (meats, cheese, grapes and crackers) and you are welcome to bring additional food and drinks.
John has done his research, and even though he is a relative newcomer to Gig Harbor he really knows the history of the town. His tour provides lots of fun information, history and insight into this tiny community on the bay, nestled so peacefully in the shadow of Mount Rainer.
The night we toured was calm with little wind and though a bit chilly, the sun was shining. The gondola includes blankets though just in case. Through out our tour one harbor seal followed the gondola around the bay, curiously watching us and
keeping just to the right of John’s oar. Speaking of John’s oar, he has learned the craft of being a gondolier perfectly. The rowing oar, which is not attached to the boat, is used to both propel the boat and as a rudder. Our ride was smooth and silent and safe.
After learning and chatting as we calmly sliced through the water, John took a moment to serenade us with a beautiful Italian ballad. I have no idea what he was singing about – but it was lovely. I’m sure people on shore could hear his crisp tenor voice across the water.
Spending time on Gig Harbor bay with Gig Harbor Gondola is always a treat. Seeing this lovely town from the water gives you such a different perspective. And now I’ve seen it through new eyes, the eyes of John and Nellie the Gondola. Bellissimo!
Grazie John! What a lovely, relaxing excursion.
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