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The Gondolas of Venice
When you think about Venice, you are sure to picture the waterways of this city, with men and women discovering its beauty by way of the gondola. You may know that the gondola used to be the main means of transport in Venice, but you may not know that the art of the gondola has evolved over the past 1000 years! The boats are made from 8 different types of wood and are constructed in boat yards called ‘squeri’ by gondola builders who have been in this line of work since the 11th century. Every gondola is 36 feet long, 4.5 feet wide and a little over 2 feet high. They are built in an asymmetrical fashion, with the gondolier's body type and weight in mind, so that as they row through the canals of Venice, the boat is completely stable.
It’s not easy to become a professional gondolier. Requirements include attending a special school, passing a public competition and being apprenticed to a professional gondolier for 6 to 12 months. Traditionally, only men were allowed to be gondoliers. The first female gondolier or gondoliera was licensed in 2010. Giorgia Boscolo, the daughter of a 40-year gondolier veteran, was the first to pass the requirements and obtain a license!
Whether you are interested in the craftsmanship of the gondola, seeing a city from a different point of view, or just looking for a romantic evening with your special someone, the gondolas of Venice are sure to suit your dreams.
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