|Rob and Tom pose in rainy Venice|
GONDOLA MAKERS! - this craft has been around since the 1500s, and there are 2 main manufacturers of Gondolas in Venice that we learned about.
|Watching others take a Gondola in the rain|
1) Each gondolier has his own gondola and each boat is customized to its gondolier, to his weight and height.
2) In fact, there's an iron weight on the front of each boat to help the boat balance.
3) They're curved! Looking at them head on you can see that gondolas are NOT straight like a kayak - that's all about balance, rowing, and steering... see below.
4) The steering position, the oar and the forcola where it rests are designed and manufactured considering the height and the arms of the gondolier. This need to customize gondolas is not an artistic habit, but rather responds to its peculiar navigation technique based on arm strength.
THE GONDOLA SHOP - The main shop where the majority of gondolas are made is called Squero di San Trovaso. Its located at Fondamenta Bonlini, 1097, 30123 Venezia, Italy. That's the shop where we stopped (from across a canal) and got a look at how the gondolas were being made and repaired.
|Gondola shop at Squero di San Trovaso|
HOW MANY GONDOLIERS TODAY? According to thatsvenice.com, there are some 450 authorized gondoliers distributed over the five hundred gondolas in the city today.There are a lot of water taxis to get people back and forth, and gondolas seem to be pretty much used for tourists. There were a lot of hardcore visitors when we were there because they took the open gondola rides in the rain... while we took covered taxis. In fact, since it rained almost the entire time, we never did take a gondola ride
NEXT: Faces and Murals on Buildings
THEN: Venetian Tour Guide Book Recommendation: Dan Brown's Inferno
THEN: Tom's Favorite Shop, Mozart Played Here,St. Mark's (Wet) Square)