Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Traghetto at Rest - San Toma

As much as I love moving about Venice by vaporetto, an even more Venetian way to cross the "Canalazzo" is by traghetto. Venice has four bridges that allow one to cross the Grand Canal (for the longest time there were only three).
Oh, but there are many other spots where you can get across that backwards "s" shaped waterway, and they are called "traghetti". A traghetto is a sort of "gondola ferry", which is rowed back and forth from one side of the canal to the other. The cost is negligable - I don't want to commit to an actual number because it fluctuates, but suffice to say that it's a small handful of coins, and for most Venetians, a worthwhile short-cut and a great time saver when compared to finding a bridge to cross.

While waiting for the traghetto at San Toma with Nereo and Martina Zane, I shot these photos of another traghetto boat which was docked and waiting for busier hours.
The traghetto has been described by some as "an old retired gondola", but most of the ones I've seen are wider and heavier than gondolas. They resemble gondolas, in that they are rowed like them, and are painted black, but they're typically more robust in construction and can handle higher passenger counts.

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