Friday, May 1, 2009

Have Gondola, Will Travel

I had a terrific conversation the other day with Marco of Providence, RI.
Many years ago I had an opportunity to visit him and his wife Cynthia at their location and row a bit.
It was great to meet them and see an operation I'd heard so much about over the years.
I saw the first gondola built by Thom Price - complete with American flag carved on the trasto da prua.
I also saw a remarkable gondola built in New England according to much older specs. The boat was only a few years old, but she had the lines and dimensions of a gondola from the 19th Century.

She was a touch wider in the beam and both ends left the water later than current-day gondolas (as the years have passed, the curve of the gondola has increased).
From a design standpoint, this vessel was one-of-a-kind, but it was the finish that really caught my eye.

Marco had spent the winter months obsessing over the finish of his boats - painting and wet-sanding until the decks looked unbelievable.
That 19th century designed boat had a finish like a Steinway piano.

Marco and Cynthia recently sold the Providence servizio to one of their gondoliers, kept one gondola, and are doing something bold and adventurous: they're offering the gondola for hire at events around the eastern half of the country.
Check out their website at:

Thus far, they've brought their gondola to events in New York, Florida, and twice in Ohio. If you ask me, anyone who arranges to have this boat at their event will be blown away. You can't put a price on this kind of quality.

The website for the Providence operation is:

Good luck Marco.
I wish you and Cynthia great success.


Anonymous said...

Hello, Gondola Greg. Beverly Rose, Whidbey Island,WA here. I am organizing a fundraiser called A Year of Venice on Whidbey and want to offer gondola rides Summer 2010. We are surrounded by water and I would LOVE to either have our very own gondola or rent one for the occasion. Any suggestions? ps I am really enjoying your's the first I've ever visited! Beverly

Anonymous said...

ps. my email is