Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Squero San Trovaso - "There's a Hole in the Floor!"

Part of the gondola building and maintenance process requires squerarioli to flip the boat over so they can get to the underside.

You'd think they would do this all above ground, but no, not the Venetians.

They dig a hole in the floor so the whole operation is lower to the ground.

Sure, you could set up planks, and do all your work from higher up, but for various reasons they prefer this method.

I'm just spitballing here, but do you think some old grouchy gondola builder fell off a plank centuries ago and made a new rule from that day forward? It could happen.

With a sprained ankle and a bruised ego, an angry guy with a shovel could dig a hole pretty quickly.


INGO said...

In this hole forges dwarfs and gnomes new ferro.

Bob Easton said...

Naw, nothing to do with falling off a plank. It's a lot easier to dig a hole once than to lift a gondola a thousand times, especially if you have to lift it high enough to walk under.

When I grew up (a bit before you Greg) auto repair shops had pits in the service bays. It was cheaper to build the garage with pits than to buy hydraulic lifts.

INGO said...

The hole is not spezialy don for the nose of the gondola lying on here face. There must be a second hole. No! Allora, here`s the truth.The hole is simply a sewage manhole for dirty water from grining and polishing the surface of gondolas. Here in San Trovaso is this hole by chance at the rigth place to be used in this way.

Sean Jamieson said...

Well. I dug a hole in Squero San Diego and it was very beneficial for working on the side of the boat. Still have to set up planks though if you want to work on the bottom.

Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

What about a gimbal, which would hold the gondola by the two ferro areas and an intermediate support grid structure and let the worker rotate the whole vessel in 3D for easy access?

That would be a lot of investment, but a wedding gondola is close to 50k besides its artistic value, so clumsy handling errors better be eliminated!

> auto repair shops had pits in the service bays. It was cheaper to build the garage with pits than to buy hydraulic lifts

Such car garage pits, filled with a little concrete, sometimes served as the final resting place of unfortunate people in the gangster era, so says the rumor.