Friday, October 30, 2009

Water Taxi

We spend a lot of time talking about rowing boats here on the Gondola Blog. A fair number of my posts also feature places or things in Venice. Water taxis have popped up in a few posts but I think this is the first official Venetian water taxi post.

Venice has many iconic boats other than her trademark gondolas. In my mind the vaporetto and the water taxi come in second and third place, and I'm not sure which one is more recognizable than the other.

I know there are some who may view water taxis in Venice from a negative perspective. And while I'm certain we would witness a spirited debate if this were a chat board and I simply asked "gondola or water taxi", but I'm not here to foster such arguments right now.

Take a moment and feast your eyes on the beautifully varnished wood that makes these boats so picturesque and memorable.

Shiny chrome and burlwood come together to make a dashboard that might just as well be found in a luxury car.

Looking at the transom, we see that she's named the "Fosca". This water taxi has wood decks and structures above the rail, but she also has a white hull and a Volvo Penta powerplant - likely more reliable than the engines that traditionally powered these vessels.

"JLT Yacht Agency" is frosted on the rear window. This boat has a clever glass sunroof which appears to slide into the hard roof section.

Side vents at the back of the structure have "Cantiere Motonautico Serenella" badges.

On several occasions Joe Gibbons of Boston told me that entering Venice by water taxi was a "must do". So in 2005, when my family and I arrived at Marco Polo Airport, we flagged one down and jumped in.
Joe was right - what a great experience. We had a fantastic tour of the city on our way in, and were delivered (luggage and all) to a spot just steps away from the apartment we had rented for the week.
It wasn't cheap, and I wouldn't charter one for other trips around the city, but the trip from the airport quay to our apartment, which would have been a major ordeal using other means, was relaxing and enjoyable.

Under close scrutiny, water spots can be seen in a few places. If the owner had known I was going to be snapping photos of his boat, he probably would have buffed them out. But overall, this vessel was darn clean for something I just walked up to and shot pictures of.


Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

Coincidentally Gilberto Penzo has just relesed a do-it-yourself venetian water taxi model kit!

It is similar to the 1:20 wooden laminate sandolo and gondola kits he already sells via mail order, but more complicated to assemble since the motorcraft has many more parts.

See here:

Nereo said...

That's one of the most beautiful water taxi I ever seen.

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