What better way is there to take in the great city of Venice, Italy, than on your own gondola ride? The number of gondolas once numbered above 10,000, when horses were outlawed in the 14th century. Only about 500 remain today, and they are used primarily for the tourist trade, as their cost is exorbitant for everyday transportation. Rates are regulated, and if you try to negotiate a lower price, the gondolier will reduce the length of the ride accordingly. This photo was taken from our gondola with the famed Rialto Bridge in the background.