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Sunday, 04 December 2016 17:46

Gondole for everyone !

Gondole for everyone !

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Gondola, Venice

The venetian Gondola was  the main type of transportation for Venetians, even outside the city..we can say  until the invention of motorboats. But that was in particular for very rich people, a kind of limousine ;)

First mentioning of gondola was in the far 1094. That was a very important year, it was the same year when St. Mark’s Church (Basilica di San marco) was consecrated.

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Ancient gondola in Ca' Rezzonico museum

 

 

 

It is 11 metres long, made up of 280 different pieces of wood and is painted with seven layers of black paint. It can be steered by a single gondolier with just one oar!

 

 

What about colours?

At the beginning you could decorate and paint your gondola however you wanted. Didn't you know that? We don't think you knew that because the typical gondola nowadays is a black gondola!

Hovever, wealthy noble and rich families could even risk bankruptcy in order to maintain their appearances and have colourful and unique gondolas. So they kept on to decorate their gondole.

Back in the past, gondolas were covered up with a wooden cabin called felze.

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Gondole represented by Gentile Bellini in the early 1500’s, Gallerie dell'Accademia museum,Venice

 

The Venetian Senate ended this extravagance mood of decorating trought a law to  evem ban decorations and to make all gondolas black... gondole that everyone knows.

Today Venetian people are not using gondolas anymore.. but tourists can take a gondola ride pretty much anywhere in the city. The price is fixed, it’s 80 € for 30 minutes during the day and 100 € during the night. 

There are also wedding gondolas…

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A gondola decorated for a wedding

… or funeral gondolas.

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 18th century funeral gondola in Venice

But the ones we are still using and that we love  the most is the so called "traghetto". Traghetto means "ferry boat", a public service across Grand Canal.  The faster way to cross it! This is a very cheap service, just 2€! Of course this will last only few minutes, but that’s the way locals doa. and finally you can share a gondola with Venetian people.

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People getting on a traghetto "ferry boat" at Rialto market, Venice

 

By Free Walk in Venice

Isola Tour project

4 meeting point, unlimited knowledge and fun for our Venice free tours.

www.freewalkinvenice.org

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