After my post from September 27th, Bob Easton encouraged me to delve deeper into the subject of this ancient vessel - the "traghetto".
Built in many ways like her well-known cousin - the gondola, a gondola da traghetto or simply traghetto is a true Venetian workhorse. Taking heavy foot traffic, and bumping into things throughout the day, it's no surprise that this vessel is built more heavily.
A traghetto is also wider, giving her more stability, and this is important because most of her passengers stand during their voyage across the Canale Grande.
Carrying such a load, these boats are generally rowed by two gondoliers.
Some passengers might choose to sit:
elder Venetians, mothers with babies, and of course, clueless tourists.
Everyone else stands.
Boarding the boat, you pay the forward oarsman, who tosses the coins on or near the bow - making quick change with what's on the deck.
I once annoyed one of these guys by producing a 5 Euro bill with a bunch of Venetians behind me in line.
Talk about a "rookie move".
Needless to say, exact change is appreciated.
Venice has three, scratch that, four bridges now to cross the Grand Canal by. Crossing in other places is done by one of these boats, which have served as ferries for centuries.
The action shots in this post are from the Santa Sofia traghetto, which touches dock on the western shore near the fish market.
Not everyone in a servizio relishes the task of rowing traghetto.
I've heard stories of gondoliers with seniority trying to manipulate the system so the younger rowers spend more time doing the ferrying.
Then there are stories of guys who love rowing traghetto - it gives them a chance to catch up with locals as they step on and off the boat.
More than once I've been told:
"You want to get better at rowing? Row traghetto."
I'm certain that it's true, and if given the chance, I'd love to spend a week doing so.
Maybe there are a few guys with seniority who'd like me to cover their shifts.
I'm sure it isn't easy.
To read another post, featuring a traghetto at San Toma, take a look at my post from January of this year, entitled "Traghetto at Rest - San Toma".