Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Remo Room

In my post "The Wall of Forcole" I mentioned something called 
the "Remo Room".
I suppose that since the plural of remo (oar) would be "remi", 
but Remo Room just sounds better to me.

Like so many other rowing clubs in the Veneto - both in Venezia and throughout the region - the Gruppo Sportivo Voga Veneta in Mestre (GSVVM) has a large fleet of boats.

Because they're a rowing club, they've obviously got to have lots of remi.
As you may have guessed, they keep them in a room,
and this is a picture that I took of part of that room.
Looking up toward the ceiling, I was able to capture most of the remi,
but there were plenty more.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Eight Blades in the Front

There are many great places in Venice for "gondola-watching".
One of my very favorite spots is Bacino Orseolo.
nicknamed the "Gondola Garage", this small basin can have thirty or more gondolas rafted together for overnight storage. 

Get there early enough in the morning and you might see them all.
Hang around a while and you can go from "gondola-watching" to "gondolier-watching", as they unwrap and prepare their majestic vessels for the day.

On the morning that I took this photo, there were eight gondolas in the front, with their ferro blades lined up in a row.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Back to Business

photo by Mark Schooling

We had some rain here in Southern California.
It wasn't terrible. Really. 

If you're not in the region, and you see 
big scary "Stormwatch 2018" news stories - ignore them.
A few spots got more than the hillsides could handle, 
but it was not the Great Flood apocalypse that they always 
make things out to be this time of year.

Nevertheless, we did get some rain, 
got a free washdown from the heavens, 
and reacquainted ourselves with our shopvacs and bilge pumping systems.

Now we're back on the backs of our boats,
and back to the business of making great memories for our passengers. 
Here's a great example from Mark at Gondola Paradiso in Oxnard, California.
Look at that shiny clean boat.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The "Fruit Crate Gondola"

In the few days before and after New Years Eve, 
it seems everybody is talking about all of the things that happened in 2017.
Lots of global politics and major national stories have gotten plenty of attention. And I understand the need for that, 
but there's so much other stuff to talk about.
As for me, I don't want to cover any of the subjects that everyone else has already hashed out.

Chances are they've done a better job than I would anyway.

Instead, I want to talk about...the "Fruit Crate Gondola!"

You heard me correctly.
A guy named Angelo Boscolo built a gondola, a real gondola, 
using the wood of 350 fruit boxes from the Rialto market in Venezia. 

According to this article in Nuova Venezia 

(someone who gave this story the attention it deserved),
On the day of the Manonna della Salute, Mr. Boscolo launched it in the Grand Canal.
This is not his first adventure as a "do-it-yourself master carpenter" - in the past he also built a pupparino using the "benches" of the San Giacometto market and a "zero kilometer bragozzetto", as he calls it, with artichoke boxes - but he has certainly completed his biggest adventure: to create a real gondola.

 "Actually it is 30 centimeters shorter and according to tradition it should be made with 9 types of wood", explains Angelo Boscolo, a few minutes before the launch, "I used ten of them, those of the fruit boxes that friends gave me."  
The gondola of the "Cantiere dei burloni", as it is impressed in the trasto, with another very Venetian motto: 
"Who knows how quiet, who does not know how to ask, 
El mona already knows everything". 

I am hoping that I can see, and maybe row this unique gondola the next time I'm in Venice.

If you can, check out the videos on the Nuova Venezia website.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Another Lap Completed

The clock struck,
the ball dropped,
kisses were given,
and the champagne popped.

2018 is finally here.
It's the first full day of a brand new year.
We've completed another lap around the sun.
Our traveling rock is here - back to square one.

Happy New Year, my friends.

Thanks for reading the Gondola Blog.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Bringing the Baby

photos and video by Nereo Zane

Each year the GSVVM rowing club in Mestre has a traditional row into town.
The members all dress in Christmas-related costumes.
Most in Santa gear, but some others in more regionally recognized outfits.

 Three rowers pause fir a photo at the club 
before launching their boat for the row.

On a cold December day, just before the traditional 
procession, let's all take a group photo!

After a fun group excursion, all the boats end up in a canal in the 
city of Mestre, where families have all converged to see all of the Santas 
(the Italian name for Santa, by the way, is "Babbo Natale").

The jam-packed canal is a sea of orange and blue boats...

...populated by a lot of folks in red and white.

Getting the boats tied up is a fun challenge.

Treats are tossed to the children who have come to see the spectacle.

While the procession, the pageantry, and the tossing of treats are all important aspects of this tradition, the main purpose of the whole thing is to bring a symbolic baby Jesus to the nativity scene, to be placed in the manger.

Thanks to Nereo Zane for these images and video clips.

Merry Christmas, my friends.
Merry Christmas and Buon Natale.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Santa in San Diego!

This gem of a photo comes to us from the folks 
at The Gondola Company in Coronado, California.

Full disclosure, that's Sean on the back (because the real Santa 
doesn't row voga-alla-Veneta with such perfect form).

Sean tells me that while the photo was taken in December, 
it was a hot day, with temperatures in the eighties.  
He was sweaty and uncomfortable.

But it's all about getting that perfect shot,
and THIS really IS a perfect shot.