We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

365 days of Venice - Gondola's!!

Gondola Facts:

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.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I think that forcola as a name for an oarlock is more often used - perhaps because forcula sounds a bit like culo which is a bit demeaning to this noble instrument:)