Gondole in Venice

The moment you think about Venice, you likely think about the gondola as well as the gondolieri who can sing and recite poetry to you while out on the lagoon.

January 26, 2016

The Tradition of the Gondola in Gorgeous Venice

The moment you think about Venice, you likely think about the gondola as well as the gondolieri who can sing and recite poetry to you while out on the lagoon. While it can be very romantic to be out on the water, and it is also interesting to learn about the history and traditions, as well as the forcola, which is the symbol found on each of these wooden boats.

How to build a Gondola

A gondola used to be the primary mode of transportation in Venice, about 700 years ago. It is comprised of about 280 pieces of wood. Many types of wood are used within the boat, including mahogany, lime, oak, cherry and elm. The wood is often treated for a year prior to construction.

The craftmanship is one that is often handed down through generations. The design hasn’t changed in centuries. The slightly asymmetrical design is so that a single gondolier has the ability to propel it in straight lines. After construction, a painter takes hold of it, painting it the black color that we all recognize today.

There is also the forcola, which means pitchfork, which is the fulcrum of the oar. It is sharpened to fit the gondolier and therefore will be different in every gondola.

The craftmanship is one that is often handed down through generations. The design hasn’t changed in centuries. The slightly asymmetrical design is so that a single gondolier has the ability to propel it in straight lines. After construction, a painter takes hold of it, painting it the black color that we all recognize today.

There is also the forcola, which means pitchfork, which is the fulcrum of the oar. It is sharpened to fit the gondolier and therefore will be different in every gondola.

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