Gondolas; The Gems of Italian Waters
by Claudio on Feb 7, 2017
What are Gondolas?
For many years, gondolas were the only way to travel through Venice and Milan as well as a lot of other Italian cities. They are handmade, banana-shaped canoes whose use is dated back to the 11th century in the zenith of Venetian rule. Where there were 10,000 of them cruising down the canals of Venice once, there are now a few hundred of them left still operating, but it does not take away from the uniqueness and the sheer beauty of this type of travel.
How are Gondolas made?
Gondolas are made from eight different types of wood and are made with 280 components. It takes anywhere from 40 to 45 working days to craft one and they are made very skillfully by hand. In earlier years, they were used as public shuttles of people and goods, glamorous family heirlooms, and for official city activities. Now, they are simply used for cruising down the exquisite Gran Canal of Venice. Formerly, they were painted rich, beautiful colors with stripes and other patterns. Now, they are all painted black as mandated by the state. Gondolas are created in one of the 3 remaining squeri which are boatyards along the water typically run by generations of the same family.
Who runs gondolas?
A gondola is run by a gondolier who is a licensed personnel trained in the art of rowing these beautiful boats. A “gondoliere” will be responsible for taking you on a cruise down the picturesque canals of Venice if you so wish. Typically male, he will row standing at the right side of the boat in the stern.
Gondolas are special treasures of the Italian waters and visiting Venice without enjoying this luxury will simply not do. For a beautiful and cultural experience, take a ride in these wonderful Venetian historical creations along the beautiful Venetian canals and bask in the glorious wonder that Venice is.
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