Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Red Seats under the Ponte Scalzi

I caught a few decent shots of this gondola while waiting on the vapporetto platform in front of the train station. A number of gondolas were coming and going in the shadow of the Ponte Scalzi, but this one seemed worthy of a second look.
She had a host of unique details.
the red seats were the obvious eye-catchers but there were a few other things I thought you might like to see.

A closer look at the tip of the tail shows us that she's got one of those "fold-down-lamas", which are popular with gondoliers who have to fit their boats under low bridges.
Like many of the gondolas we've seen lately, the gondolier has a second remo at the ready - complete with red and white chevron stripes.

The red tapeto (carpet) ties things together nicely.
I got a kick out of the gondolier's Top Sider boat shoes.

Bright red seats stand out, and the pom-poms and ropes trailing back from the cavalli match well. With all this bright red, it's easy to overlook the cavalli, but they deserve an appreciative look as well. No doubt someone paid a lot for those horses.

Now let's check out the front of the boat.
She's got nice, clean lines, and the curves flow well with the stainless steel trim.
The trasto da prua has some intricate carving, and that area has been finished in a clear varnish rather than black paint.

The gondolier has chosen a traditional alluminum ferro with the three decorative pieces between every other finger.
Under closer scrutiny, the ferro seems to have an ever so slight bend.
Here, I've dropped out the color and enhanced the contrast to make it easier to see: She leans back a tiny bit. Something most folks probably wouldn't notice, but when you own and maintain one of these babies, every little detail becomes evident.

All in all, she's a very nice boat. Well maintained and clearly loved and appreciated by her owner.

The gondolas that operate in front of the train station are often the first ones people see when they arrive in Venice. They are, to a certain degree, welcoming ambassadors to this most incredible city.


Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

Maybe the red-loving gondolier is a Ferrari tifosi?

Traditional wisdom says a gondola's ferro with its easily bent fingers can protect the wooden hull from damage in collisions.

However, being made of aluminium, the ferro of this boat probably can't be mended to regain its original shape or it would crack?

Gondola Greg said...

Oh yes, they do crack.
In fact a little more bending and this one probably would have cracked.

the ferro does protect the front of the boat. not only physically, but psychologically. On several occasions I've had near collisions with boats here in Newport. In each case the guy was drunk, stupid, or both. But they were all smart enough to realize (sometimes at the last minute) that tangling with me and my big stainless steel ferro would certainly guarantee scratches and other damage to their boat.
If you're going to play "chicken" with boats, it helps to have that big metal shiny thing up front.

Bob Easton said...

Yes, this boat is one of the ambassadors. Every time I've visited Venice, I've seen this boat (the varnished trasto da pura is what makes it unique in my mind). I always pause for a moment and think of how well the owner keeps this boat. Truly admirable.

Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

The gondolier has a green tube by his feet. Is that a bilge pump or maybe an anti-theft rope he would loop around a palina?

Gondola Greg said...

The green tube is a segment of garden-hose, which is used as part of a mooring assembly. It's the part that often wraps around a vertical palina.