Today, after sleeping in and recovering from the Parade of Lights, a bunch of us went back to the docks and gave tours to a homeschooling group. We do this once or twice every few months and it’s a lot of fun. I spend about 20 minutes teaching about Venice and gondolas, we use some props like a forcola and a remo, and throw in a few phrases in Italian. The parents in attendance have as much fun as the kids. For the groups with younger kids, I end by reading “Guido’s Gondola” by Renee Riva; a children’s book that’s perfect for the situation.
After the lecture and story I’ll take questions and then it’s time to cruise.
Our office manager Alison White sends the passengers to their respective boats and everyone climbs aboard. Once the gondolas are all cruising in a group, the passengers ask questions, the gondoliers take turns singing and as you might expect, more wisecracking between gondoliers is the norm. The singing is always popular with the passengers and these group cruises offer the guys the opportunity to hear each other and in many cases, compete a bit for the passengers’ applause.
The gondolas depart from the lagoon. Gondolier Danny pushes away from the dock while Steve O. is on his way with a boatload of kids.