A gondola was a type of small boat used throughout Italy, most popularly on the island city of Venice. They were one of the vehicles available for use by the AssassinEzio Auditore during the Renaissance. The gondola was designed with a longer left-hand side, which allowed gondoliers to row it without changing the side the oar was on.
In 1481, Ezio Auditore's first encounter with Caterina Sforza was when he had to rescue her with a gondola from an island near Forlì, Romagna, where her husband had left her. He also ensured the safety of Rosa's gondola in Venice – being piloted by Ugo – which was en route to the Venetian Thieves Guild after her leg had been pierced by an arrow.
There were some gondolas covered with cloth, though Ezio could not use them to move around. However, they could be looted for some florins, though the money received was significantly less than what he would gain from treasure chests.
Even if Ezio looted a gondola in clear sight of the guards, they would not attack him, but did acknowledge the act itself.
A second, more opulent gondola model was used in a memory in Venice, though it only appeared once.
If Ezio got onto an occupied gondola, the person rowing it would automatically jump off and drown. Interestingly, the bodies of drowned gondoliers never appeared above the water, or as silhouettes underneath it, unlike the bodies of soldiers or civilians that fell into the water.
It was possible to glitch a gondolier by dropping onto the boat from a building and landing directly behind them. The boat would stop moving, and Ezio could steer as normal, but until he left the boat and got back on, the gondolier would continue to row along, unaware of his presence.
Grabbing onto the front, notched portion of the gondola would allow Ezio to ride along with the gondolier, without them jumping off.
Ezio could fall from any height onto a gondola, as long as he was not diving, and not take any damage as a result.
The controls of the Naval Cannon were very similar to that of the gondola, with the only difference being that in the Naval Cannon, Ezio could switch between rowing and firing the cannon.