Thursday, December 20, 2007
365 days of Venice - Gondola's!!
Each one of the six metal sections of the metal front piece (called the "ferro" seen in this photo) represents one of the siesteres of Venice.
A gondola is 35 feet long, 5 feet wide and weighs 600 kg.
The degree of curvature of the boat is based on the weight of the gondolier.
It takes 2 months to build a gondola.
All gondolas must be painted black.
Gondolas have 6 coats of paint on them.
A gondola costs between 30,000 -65,000 Euros, depending on the additional options selected , for example cup holders.
The oarlock, called the forcula, is often considered a work of art, as each one is carved or sculpted specifically for the gondolier.
Each gondola is built using 8 different kinds of wood.
Gondolas in olden days also had a removable cabin or "felse" used to protect passengers from bad weather.
Every 40 days a gondola must get a new coat of varnish to protect it from marine growth in the lagoon.
A gondola typically lasts 15 years. It can be refurbished only once.
There are about 400 gondolas operated by the Venice Gondola Association.
When a licensed gondolier passes away, his license is passed down to his family.
Each year only 3-4 new gondolier licenses are issued. The entrance exam to become a gondolier is very rigorous and requires extensive training prior to the exam.