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.

Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

With sweeping views of the sparkling Venice lagoon, the Hotel Danieli enjoys a particularly majestic location—just steps from the legendary Palazzo Ducale, dramatic St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, and the famed Bridge of Sighs.

The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

Occupying a prestigious setting on the Grand Canal, The Gritti Palace was built in 1475 as residence of Doge Andrea Gritti. A leisurely short stroll from Piazza San Marco, the imposing palazzo awards rare views of Santa Maria della Salute.

Four Points by Sheraton Venice

In a new commercial area, our hotel is steps from the Venezia Mestre-Ospedale train station and a short ride from Venice’s city center.

Visiting Venice? Our travel guide for 2020

From the traditional Carnevale to the Biennale, here is our guide to all the unmissable events in the city for 2020.

The National Museum of Bargello

Discover one of the oldest buildings in Florence. Since the mid-1900s, the building began its use as a National Museum, inside you can find the most stunning collection of Renaissance art.

Revoltella Museum

If you’re visiting Trieste, in Italy, the Revoltella Museum should be one of the first places you go and see. This museum has always staged notable exhibitions in the past and continues to surpass the expectations of art lovers from all over the world.