Tuesday, May 4, 2010


photo by René Seindal René sent me this shot of an interesting ferro. He writes:

Hi Greg,
Here's a photo of an engraved ferro.
Spotted several times in Rio di San Maurizio (S.Marco), close to the prefettura.
I rarely see engraved ferros like that.

I love getting photos from René - as a kayaker in Venice, he gets some great shots of boats from an angle most folks hardly ever see.

Taking a closer look at the engraving, it's obvious that this embellishment was done for (or in honor of) a specific person.
The name "Franco Strighetta" is etched beneath a group of flags and a short remo with red chevron stripes.

The name "Strighetta" immediately rings a bell for anyone who has followed championship regatas in Venice.
Looking to clarify, I wrote to Nereo Zane about it and he said:

Franco "Strigheta" is a famous regatante from Burano (like Bepi "Suste"). He comes from a family of regatanti with the same nickname (strigheta) and he's the son of Albino Dei Rossi "Strigheta" the most famous of the family and "Re del Remo" (died in 2004).

The word itself means "little witch", but it has become a favorite nickname in Venice.

Later on Nereo wrote back:

Last Sunday I met Bepi Suste and asked him for the meaning of "strigheta" and where the nickname comes from. You're right about it; the nickname comes from "little witch" but not because the first who got this nickname was considered a witch but instead because he used to exit from home during the night and to walk endless in Burano. Nobody knows who was the first "Strigheta"

Many thanks are due to René for the photo, to Nereo for his wisdom, and to Bepi Suste for helping us understand this nickname, with it's origins in his hometown of Burano.

So as we look at the photo, are we admiring a boat that is or has been owned by Franco Strigheta? Or are we looking at a boat that's owned by an admirer of the famous regatante?

My guess: it's owned by a fan.
But it could the otherwise.

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