I shot this photo a few years ago from the vaporetto.
There are so many reasons I love looking at passenger sandoli:
-There aren't very many of them in Venice when compared to the more well-known gondolas, so a "sandolo sighting" is often rare and unexpected.
-A great percentage of these boats are privately owned, and are usually independently operated. Because of this, the decor of a sandolo often reflects the personality of the owner.
- From a gondola owner's perspective, I view the boat as unique and even exotic. I would love to own one some day.
- There's also a sort of novelty to the boat because she has a number of parecio often seen on gondolas, but in smaller proportional form.
> There aren't very many of them in Venice when compared to the more well-known gondolas <
I've read these boats are officially called "sandolo a barcarole" and that is enforced, i.e. only the properly singing gondoliers can use one for commerce in Venice.
That could explain their rarity (although carved black sandolos for weddings do exist).
Otherwise, these smallish boats should be easier to scull around all those narrow canals with just 2/3rd - 3/4th the lenght of a full gondola and less draught with 2, maybe 4 passengers on board.
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