WHO WE ARE

TRADITION, PASSION, INNOVATION

Our philosophy

According to the tradition gondoliers love to eat, drink, laugh aloud and are a little bit irascible, while the modern conception wants a well-mannered, cultured and athletic gondolier.
We do not know if we will be able to meet your expectations, but we are a group of young, simple and straightforward men, who wear the classic black trousers and the striped shirt and know how to get your attention but above all … we don’t know how to live without our gondola! Ours job found its roots in the history and culture of a unique city in the world; gondola and gondoliers are immortalized in many paintings by Canaletto and other landscape painters and we try to preserve the memory of the Serenissima, to revive the splendor of those times and to honor the ancient.

We are an association, even if we are currently aiming to become a consortium, of 20 people in their forties (in our dialect we would say: “no semo bocia, ma gnanca proprio veci”) of San Marcuola, full of enthusiasm, passion and dedication to our job. We try to keep one foot in the past, one in the present looking towards the future. Our gondolas preserve the features that made it a symbol in history, but they are built with new wood that enhances the beauty making it sparkling in the sunlight, and with resistant metal that cuts the autumn mist. Our goal is to provide tourists with a service that meets their needs as much as possible, so we decided to seek a combination of tradition and innovation, to offer beauty, safety and comfort at the same time.

Mi so chel gondolier
che in gondola te ninòa...

(El Gondolier, Pope Oeh!)

“chi se fa un giro in gondoea?” Don’t be afraid, we have a multilingual preparation and we are able to ask you this question in English, German, French, Spanish … but we are proud to be Venetian and we will be happy to satisfy your curiosity as we slide on the waters of the Grand Canal. Whether you ask us about the home of Marco Polo or more intellectual questions, we will try to satisfy you whatever your nationality is and we can also advise you on where to enjoy an excellent “Cicchetto con spritz” in the most famous taverns in Venice.

Our philosophy

According to the tradition gondoliers love to eat, drink, laugh aloud and are a little bit irascible, while the modern conception wants a well-mannered, cultured and athletic gondolier.
We do not know if we will be able to meet your expectations, but we are a group of young, simple and straightforward men, who wear the classic black trousers and the striped shirt and know how to get your attention but above all … we don’t know how to live without our gondola! Ours job found its roots in the history and culture of a unique city in the world; gondola and gondoliers are immortalized in many paintings by Canaletto and other landscape painters and we try to preserve the memory of the Serenissima, to revive the splendor of those times and to honor the ancient.

We are an association, even if we are currently aiming to become a consortium, of 20 people in their forties (in our dialect we would say: “no semo bocia, ma gnanca proprio veci”) of San Marcuola, full of enthusiasm, passion and dedication to our job. We try to keep one foot in the past, one in the present looking towards the future. Our gondolas preserve the features that made it a symbol in history, but they are built with new wood that enhances the beauty making it sparkling in the sunlight, and with resistant metal that cuts the autumn mist. Our goal is to provide tourists with a service that meets their needs as much as possible, so we decided to seek a combination of tradition and innovation, to offer beauty, safety and comfort at the same time.

Mi so chel gondolier
che in gondola te ninòa...

(El Gondolier, Pope Oeh!)

“chi se fa un giro in gondoea?” Don’t be afraid, we have a multilingual preparation and we are able to ask you this question in English, German, French, Spanish … but we are proud to be Venetian and we will be happy to satisfy your curiosity as we slide on the waters of the Grand Canal. Whether you ask us about the home of Marco Polo or more intellectual questions, we will try to satisfy you whatever your nationality is and we can also advise you on where to enjoy an excellent “Cicchetto con spritz” in the most famous taverns in Venice.

La storia della gondola

Cussì nasse la gondola,
galanteria dell’aqua
fata per sta laguna:
rica barcheta nera
longa fina liziera,
co do ponte de fero
co do ponte de arzento
se la deve al talento
de un’ongieta de luna
che, co tanto bon cuor,
ga proteto una sera
el picolo mistero
de do tosi in amor.”

( Antonio Negri)

According to this romantic dialectal poetry has been preserved the legend that see the gondolas were born thanks to the moon. In fact the moon to protect two lovers from prying eyes, descended to touch the cold water and, because of this contact, became black while the ends (left out of the lagoon) remained silvery. That’s why the gondola would be all black with the two extreme silver sides.
The reality is very different but who better than the gondola, this extraordinary symbol of Venice, could tell us. We tried to invent an imaginary interview with this “lady of the lagoon”. . .

 

Tell us something about the origin of your name

Hello, i’m the Gondola (although in the Venice dialect they call me “gondoea”), I cannot tell you precisely where my name derives from, it would seem from the Latin “cuncula” (seashell), but there is also the hypothesis that it is a mixture between swinging “dondolare” and the medieval Greek word “kondura” (short rope boat); in fact my forefathers had the stern less slender than we have today gondolas.

Where do your shape come from?

Over the centuries gondolas have changed appearance, in fact if you look at the paintings of the XV-XVI century, you will find that my ancestors were shorter and were not at all asymmetrical. On the other hand current gondola like me bend all on one side because the left side is wider than my right side by 24 centimeters. We have a flat bottom, but we are slender, in fact we are 11 meters long and weight 375kg on average. Despite this weight only one man can carry me with relative ease, sailing with only one oar and, also for this reason, I represent a unique exception in the world of boats! 280 pieces of 8 different types of wood are needed for my construction. My only metal part is the “fero da prova” (comb) that with its “S” shape symbolizes the grand canal, while the six teeth facing forward refer to the districts of Venice, the tooth facing backwards represents the Giudecca and the Hat of the doge(the local lord). Gondolas are black and this makes me very elegant, even though the real reason is that in ancient times pitch was used as a waterproofing hull and from 1609 this was extended to all the boats following a decree of the Venetian Senate.

La storia della gondola

Cussì nasse la gondola,
galanteria dell’aqua
fata per sta laguna:
rica barcheta nera
longa fina liziera,
co do ponte de fero
co do ponte de arzento
se la deve al talento
de un’ongieta de luna
che, co tanto bon cuor,
ga proteto una sera
el picolo mistero
de do tosi in amor.”

( Antonio Negri)

According to this romantic dialectal poetry has been preserved the legend that see the gondolas were born thanks to the moon. In fact the moon to protect two lovers from prying eyes, descended to touch the cold water and, because of this contact, became black while the ends (left out of the lagoon) remained silvery. That’s why the gondola would be all black with the two extreme silver sides.
The reality is very different but who better than the gondola, this extraordinary symbol of Venice, could tell us. We tried to invent an imaginary interview with this “lady of the lagoon”. . .

 

Tell us something about the origin of your name

Hello, i’m the Gondola (although in the Venice dialect they call me “gondoea”), I cannot tell you precisely where my name derives from, it would seem from the Latin “cuncula” (seashell), but there is also the hypothesis that it is a mixture between swinging “dondolare” and the medieval Greek word “kondura” (short rope boat); in fact my forefathers had the stern less slender than we have today gondolas.

Where do your shape come from?

Over the centuries gondolas have changed appearance, in fact if you look at the paintings of the XV-XVI century, you will find that my ancestors were shorter and were not at all asymmetrical. On the other hand current gondola like me bend all on one side because the left side is wider than my right side by 24 centimeters. We have a flat bottom, but we are slender, in fact we are 11 meters long and weight 375kg on average. Despite this weight only one man can carry me with relative ease, sailing with only one oar and, also for this reason, I represent a unique exception in the world of boats! 280 pieces of 8 different types of wood are needed for my construction. My only metal part is the “fero da prova” (comb) that with its “S” shape symbolizes the grand canal, while the six teeth facing forward refer to the districts of Venice, the tooth facing backwards represents the Giudecca and the Hat of the doge(the local lord). Gondolas are black and this makes me very elegant, even though the real reason is that in ancient times pitch was used as a waterproofing hull and from 1609 this was extended to all the boats following a decree of the Venetian Senate.

Where and how are you built?

My birthplace is the “squero”, a construction site for small wooden boats. I come from the expert hands of the carpenters. The squero owes its name to the ruler, a work tool that in Venetian dialect is called “squara”. Once the squero was the place where all sorts of boats were repaired, but over time its activity was limited due to the construction of the Arsenale, where a large part of Venetian ships were built.

Today in the squero only gondolas are produced by artisans who hand down the craft from father to son. For the construction it takes several months and about 500 hours of work. My life lasts on average 20 years and every year about 20 gondolas are built.

Where and how are you built?

My birthplace is the “squero”, a construction site for small wooden boats. I come from the expert hands of the carpenters. The squero owes its name to the ruler, a work tool that in Venetian dialect is called “squara”. Once the squero was the place where all sorts of boats were repaired, but over time its activity was limited due to the construction of the Arsenale, where a large part of Venetian ships were built.

Today in the squero only gondolas are produced by artisans who hand down the craft from father to son. For the construction it takes several months and about 500 hours of work. My life lasts on average 20 years and every year about 20 gondolas are built.

Tradition

Tradition