5 things to know about a Gondola

gondola

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Gondola. Try to think of another boat as well known as this one. Difficult right? The Gondola’s curves come to mind and everyone, at least once in their life, would like to go for a ride. The Gondola owes its popularity to the symbolic value it represents for Venice: an ingenious example of nautical engineering that quickly became an enduring success over the centuries.   

It is difficult to resist the temptation to embark and experience the thrill of skimming, so near the water, the Venetian canals (especially at sunset). Even today, families and couples, find going for a ride in the Gondola at the top of their list of things to do while in Venice. But before clambering on the Gondola, there a few things you should know. 

 

1 – DESIGN

If you think the gondola is crooked, you are right, The Gondola is built asymmetrical – the left side is wider than the right side by 24 cm – the reason is so that it always glides leaning to one side.  Allowing the gondolier to perfectly balance (but don’t think it’s so easy).  The bottom is flat, so that it can pass through very shallow waters.

gondola design

 

2 – IL “FERO”

Is the symbolic symbol of the Gondola: the metal ornament that is found at the bow(at the front) retains  some precise references.  The “fero” (ferro in Italian meaning iron) forms an S that is meant to represent the grand canal’s curves, and has six teeth on the front that represent the six quarters of Venice; a lunette placed under a stylized Doge’s hat represents the Rialto bridge and the “risso” (riccio in italian meaning coil) located at the stern (at the back) represents the island of Giudecca.

fero gondola

 

3 – THE CONSTRUCTION

A 3D print of a gondola won’t be enough to replicate an authentic Venetian Gondola. For its construction, eight different types of wood are used and there are a total of 280 parts. In fact more than 500 hours are needed to make this 11 meters and more than 600 kilos masterpiece.

gondola construction

 

4 – THE SQUERO 

The Gondola is manufactured in the squero, a small shipyard where smaller wooden boats are made by ASCIA or Masters that transmit there artistry to future generations. There are not very many squeri, but you can admire a characteristic one located in San Trovaso.

squero san trovaso

 

5 – HOW MUCH DOES A GONDOLA RIDE COST?

A gondola ride, for about 40 some minutes will cost you 80 euros (100 euros at night.)  Don’t accept higher. Obviously you can book group excursions and prices may be negotiable.

gondola ride

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