"Gondola Making - A Dying Art?" Gondole Tip by JetlagCity

Gondole, Venice: 50 reviews and 54 photos

  gondolier at a gondola shop
by JetlagCity

Favorite thing: I took a tour of a gondola shop, or squero, where they make those asymmetrical boats Venice is famous for. They used to be the locals' regular transportation, but now are only used by tourists. I was surprised and saddened to learn that fewer and fewer people are going into the business of gondola making.

The gondolier who spoke with us was married to the daughter of the gondola shop owner. He said you could count the squeros left in Venice on one hand, and that no one new is taking up the profession these days. He explained how gondolas are made by hand using numerous different kinds of wood for different parts, and how you'd have to apprentice for years to really learn how to make them well. I don't know what they'll do when no one's left to make them or repair them anymore... ?

Fondest memory: One of my most romantic memories is of watching a couple tango-dancing on the steps of the Salute Church, which led right down into the water. I was in a gondola, complete with accordian player and singer, the moon was out, and the church was all lit up at night... fantastic!!!

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 12, 2005
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