Friday, December 9, 2011

Gondola Books for Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, some of you may still be looking for that perfect gift for your favorite "gondola fanatic".  Perhaps you are that gondola fanatic, and are thinking about simply "gifting" something to yourself. 
Either way, here's a list of great gondola-related books - chances are something on this list will make the perfect gift for that gondola fanatic in your life
(even if it's you).

“Forcole Remi e Voga alla Veneta”
by Gilberto Penzo

In a previous post I wrote:
The book has an English translation in the back, along with great photos.
Penzo collaborated with Saverio Pastor,
and it shows.
You get a real insider’s view of the world of the remer. I risk sacrilege here,
but on more than one occasion I’ve called it “the Bible for Venetian rowing”.

Gilberto Penzo has published many great books. 
If you have this one already, chances are you'll find something else on his website,, that you simply can't live without.

price range: under $30
availability: it may be available elsewhere, but go to the source at

"Free Gondola Ride" by Kathleen Ann Gozalez
This book follows the adventures of the author as she explores Venice with the goal of better understanding not the boats, but the guys who row them.
A more complete description can be found on her website:
To read more about the book here on the Gondola Blog, go to my post "Free Gondola Ride" from October of 2007.
price range: under $20 (includes shipping)
availability: you can order them directly from Kathleen at

"The Gondola - An Extraordinary Naval Architecture" by Carlo Donatelli
Here's a book that looks at the gondola from some unique angles, including the way she moves through the water.  Donatelli's book is available in english, and has some great images and information.

price range: under $40
availability: not always easy to find but well worth it.  Amazon claims to have them

"The Thief Lord" by Cornelia Funke
This fiction piece looks at Venice through the eyes of a group of orphans in Venice and their mysterious leader.
My daughters are 11 and 14 and they love this book.

price range: under $15
available: everywhere

"Nolite Oblivisci" by Nereo Zane.
I must confess that I wrote some of the copy for this book, but the amazing photography is all from Nereo.

This book chronicles the journey we took down the Hudson River in 2007.
If you are interested in this book, you can contact me directly at:

price: $20 + postage
availability: through the Gondola Blog or Nereo Zane (depending on which continent you're on)

"The Silent Gondoliers" by S. Morgenstern
The author is best known for another of his books "The Princess Bride".

This tale involves a history of gondoliers and why they no longer sing in Venice.

price range: under $10
available: everywhere

"Guido's Gondola" by Renee Riva,
illustrated by Steve Bjorkman

This is a fun little children's book about a mouse named Guido and his adventures on the water.

We've hosted a number of school field trips at our docks in Newport. 
Before we take the kids out on the boats, I give a short lecture on gondolas, and for the younger ones, I always read "Guido's Gondola".

price range: under $10
available: everywhere

With about two weeks left before the big day, some of these may be easily found at your local bookstore, others through mail order companies.  For the special order items: order the book, and if it doesn't come in time, blame the sender.  Heck, blame me!
Merry Christmas amici!

No comments: