Sunday, May 13, 2007


It is a customary Venetian rowing boat. Gondolas were for centuries the chief resources of transportation within Venice and still have a role in public transport, serving as traghetti (ferries) over major canals.
The gondola is propelled by an oarsman (the gondolier) who stands opposite the bow and pushes, rather than pulls, a single oar. Contrary to accepted belief the gondola is never poled, the waters of Venice being too deep for that. A gondola for passengers may have a small open cabin, for their defense next to sun or rain. A sumptuary law of Venice essential that gondolas should be decorated black, and they are frequently so painted now.
It is predictable that there were several thousand gondolas during the 18th century. There are a few hundred nowadays, most of which are for hire by tourists, while a few serve as traghetti or are in confidential ownership and use.

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