I’ve known about Lake Merritt since I was a kid, accompanying my sister to pick up my mom at work. My mom worked at Lake Merritt Child Care Center (now the location of Cafe Lakeview), and it was right across Lake Merritt. But I never jogged around the lake until earlier this year. That’s when I noticed a couple on a gondola tour. That reminded me of my visit at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Gondola Servizio began providing tours around the lake since 1999. April Quinn and Angelino Sandri founded Gondola Servizo to reflect their love of Venetian culture and rowing. They provide authentic gondola rides, complete with Italian melodies, skilled gondoliers , and of course, the lovely scenery at Lake Merritt.
Q & A WITH Gondola Servizio
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF LOCAL?
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE OAKLAND AS THE HOME OF Gondola Servizio
We chose Oakland for the beauty, and because it’s a major metropolitan city. Where else can you find a large urban oasis within the boundaries of a bustling city?
WHAT DOES Gondola Servizio CONTRIBUTE TO OAKLAND?
Gondola Servizio has contributed more to The City of Oakland than I can even begin to write. We were part of the support and planning for the DD measure that voters passed and is used to improve our lake and walk ways. We reduced crime around the lake being in operation at night. Our image has been used by countless entities including property developers to sell Oakland as a destination. We have been part of the renaissance of Oakland, The City and OCVB use our image to reflect these changes. We offer a wonderful service that people love. We give access to the Lake for people. We support countless charities, schools and more. We are a positive voice for Oakland. I alone act as a concierge in Oakland. We bring business to Oakland. We are a business in Oakland. We employ in Oakland, so much more….