Monday, January 31, 2011

"A Good Gondolier is..."

They say that a good gondolier is many things.
Most of us do a lot more than just row a boat.
So today I want to hear from you all.
Finish the sentence for me.

In 24 hours I'll add my opinions, but in the mean time, give me yours.
Oh, and please do a better job than the last time.
Based on the last forum, almost nobody in the gondola world cares to row a boat with any kind of ferro.
But let's try again.
You don't need to be a gondolier to weigh in on this one.
So, my friends, what makes a good gondolier?
Finish this sentence:
"A good gondolier is part..."

Sunday, January 30, 2011


photo by Tamás Fehér
Yesterday we looked at a photo of a very old bridge, in today's photo we see a piece of Venice's newest bridge.

What a contrast.

The fourth bridge to cross the Grand Canal has in interesting sort of "spine", made of these metal frames, which remind me of whale vertebrae I once saw on a beach in Alaska.

Walking by the train station in Venice, Tamás took this photo and had this to say about it:
"I think this is a sample piece of steel from the Calatrava Bridge's main girder. Whether or not they intended it to stand as a statue, I think it's still located besides the Santa Lucia railway station in late 2010, although at a slightly different spot.

Thanks for the photo Tamás.
Looking at the bridge, I can see how this "vertebrae" piece might fit into the structure.

Santiago Calatrava has built more than just a bridge from Piazzale Roma to Santa Lucia, his projects can be admired in many places.  on June 21st, 2010, I put up a post on a bridge of his in Redding, California.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Ponte Chiodo

photo by Martina Zane

You can't travel around Venice without crossing a bridge.

Sure, if you really tried, I suppose you could figure out a way to traverse the city by boat, and planning your route carefully, avoid bridges to get where you want to go.  But for those of us who don't have limitless time to take on such a challenge, there are these amazing feats of architecture known as bridges.

Over four hundred of these spans can be found in La Serenissima. 
Most are stone, but there are bridges made of iron, and a number of wooden ones still exist too.  Originally all of the bridges in Venice were built of wood.

Wood, iron or stone, we approach a bridge these days and expect it to have railing of some sort, but not all of Venice's bridges originally had such a feature.  In fact several of the bridges in the city were built without a railing or parapet for good reason - it made them better for battle.  An in-depth look at one such bridge can be read in my post "Ponte dei Pugni".  Many bridges also didn't have steps, this may have been easier on the horses; it's hard to envision it but until the sixteenth century Venetians rode horses around town.

Whether it was for safety, convenience, or the all-too-common concern of liability, most of the bridges in Venice now have a railing - most, but not all.
There is one bridge still standing that doesn't have a railing or parapet. 
For the record, a parapet is a type of wall which serves as a rail.
The last remaining "rail-less bridge" is the Ponte Chiodo, and Martina has given us a great photo of it.

Located in the Cannaregio sestiere, crossing a canal known as the Rio di San Felice, is a bridge you may think twice about crossing.  It's funny how we take some things for granted.  However, if you choose to cross over the Ponte Chiodo, and are looking for a place to stay in Venezia, on the other side of the bridge is the 3749 Ponte Chiodo guest house.  I've never stayed there, but I'll probably check it out the next time I'm in town.

I wonder how many people have fallen off that bridge.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The "Towel Trick"

As we ramp up to Valentine's Day, my staff and I have been working dilligently toward what is usually the busiest week of our year.

One project, which is normally quite difficult in January, is getting a boat painted - we always seem to play dodgeball with rain clouds.  But this year we've been enjoying really great weather, and this week, my "right-hand-man" Steve and I have had a different kind of problem: it's been too darn sunny here!

I'd love to do the painting indoors, in a more controlled environment,
but that's not always an option. 
Painting early in the morning would be great,
but schedule conflicts seem to conspire against it.
Awnings are great but you can't always put one up.

So this week we've been using the "towel trick". 

Arriving at the boat, Steve and I wipe down the boat with the same thinner we use with our paint (this cleans the surface of yesterday's coat and softens it up so the next coat will adhere better). 

Next we drape towels over the sides of the hull to get the sun off and help cool things down. 

If the surface needs extra time to cool down, Steve and I like to go for fish tacos, but that's not a crucial part of the recipe.

Once the towels have done their job, we mix the paint and tool-up for a spirited rolling-and-tipping session.

If conditions are really hot, or if the towels have left some dust or lint, we give another quick wipe-down with thinner, and then we begin our paint application.

We pull off a towel, one guy rolls the paint on, the other guy tips it out, moving quickly but carefully.

This is one of the techniques I used one summer morning in Lake Las Vegas. (see my post "How to Paint a Black Boat in the Nevada Desert in Summertime")

At the end of it we pack up the towels and look over our work.

This process works well for building up coats, or to do just one or two.

I've used sheets and blankets instead of towels, but I like towels because they're easy to work with and just the right size for the "yank and paint" approach we use.

I'm sure this isn't the first time anyone's thought of this, and there are probably other names for it, but in my operation we call it the "towel trick".

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Buon Compleanno to Sean Jamieson

Sean Jamieson in Coronado, California (San Diego area) is celebrating the fact that he's one year older than he was last year. 
Amazing how that just keeps happening.

I shamelessly ripped off this photo from Sean's Facebook page.
I probably owe somebody photo credit - if so, let me know.

We've seen a number of interesting things here on the blog from Sean's servizio:
- He has what I believe to be the only Venice-built gondolino in the US.
- By far the nicest passenger caorlina anywhere, was built by Sean and his staff.
- Sean was also man enough to show us his worms...(yes, I'm waiting to hear gasps and confusing sounds)...wood worms to be exact.  And while it might not be something you'd want to share with others, Sean chose to do so in the hopes that we, his colleagues, might manage to avoid the same headache that is worms eating your boat.
- And who can forget the Santa-spotting of 2008?

So happy birthday to you Sean!
Buon Compleanno and good rowing from the Gondola Blog.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Australia Day

January 26th may be just another day to folks here in the US and elsewhere, but in Australia, it's their anniversary - a celebration of the arrival of the "first fleet" into Sydney harbour.

There are several gondola operations "Down Under".
The photo above is from a post on the operation in Adelaide.

Locations like Noosa, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne either have or have had gondolas plying their waters in recent years.

There are a number of unique gondola designs in Australia; one of my favorites resides in Perth.

So to all of my friends in "Oz", I wish you a "Happy Australia Day!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


This post marks the 1,300th entry on the Gondola Blog.
And while I'm not really a math-minded individual, it seems fitting to take a look at the number 13 from a few different angles:

Since I'll be writing it more than a few times in this post, I'm gonna go with "13" rather than spelling it out each time.

So what's so special about 13?
The number 13 holds a special significance for many of us - some good, some bad.
- Here in the US we celebrate our origins from the "13 original colonies", in fact that's why we still have 13 stripes on our flag.
- Basketball fans may recognize 13 as the number worn by Wilt Chamberlain.
- In 1999, the Canadian government established Nunavut, giving the second largest country in the world, 13 provinces.
- There are 13 countries represented in South America.

- We have terminology like: a "baker's dozen", the "13th disciple", and who can forget Friday, the 13th?
- Last time I counted, there were gondolas in active operation in 13 US states.
- In May of last year, a 13 year old became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest.
- In the 13th week of pregnancy, each and every one of us developed something uniquely our own: fingerprints.
- There are 13 vitamins recognized as necessary for humans to survive.
- While we often find 13 to be an unlucky number, some Italians have told me that 13 is considered to be lucky in their country.
- There was Apollo 13 - unlucky in some ways, arguably lucky in others.
- In some European and South American countries, it's not Friday, but Tuesday the 13th that is considered to be unlucky.
- Many architects avoid having a 13th floor in buildings they design - the elevator goes from 12 to 14.

So why do we consider Friday the 13th to be unlucky?
Historically, the first signficant thing that happened on this date was an arrest order, given out by Philip IV of France in 1307, demanding that all members of the Knights Templar be seized.  And while that may seem long ago and far away, it is believed that the surviving Templars took refuge within Masons, and since our founders in the US were mostly Freemasons, it makes sense that Friday the 13th would retain it's negative reputation.

There's also a Norse superstition that if 13 people gather, one of them will die on the one-year anniversary of that meeting.

As for me, I love Friday the 13th.
Not because of any of the above points.
I love it because on Friday the 13th in August of 1993, I married my wife Elisa.
For over 17 years now we've had a wonderful life together and every time any Friday the 13th rolls around, we celebrate.
So here's to the number 13!
Thanks for reading, my friends.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Paline Barge

photos by Tamás Fehér

While visiting Burano and Mazzorbo, Tamás ran into this barge full of paline. 

When we see them in place, they seem to just fade into the background, but stacked like this, they remind us of gigantic pencils, or as Tamás pointed out, enormous wooden stakes. 
Next he came upon the site where the paline were being put into place.
I am always amazed at how the Venetians manage to keep the water where they want it.

Tamás also took a photo of this sign and sent it to me with the following text:
The photo shows the on-site billboard, which explains it's a 300,000 euro emergency repair, to temporarily restore the badly deteriorated canal walls.

Thanks for the photos, Tamás.
It's a rare opportunity to see the work necessary to keep the water in one place, and the land in another.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ferro Forum

The gondola is the most iconic boat of Venice, and some say the most recognizable vessel in the world.  Riding at the tip of her bow, the end-iron known as a ferro, is arguably the most recognized part of the boat.

Like most parts of the gondola, they all appear to be the same until you take a closer look.  But like cavalli, deck trim, and many other parts of the gondola, there are different versions of the ferro.

Stainless steel and aluminum are the most common materials used, but there are others seen here and there.
Most have six fingers forward and one facing back, but we've observed five in front, a few times, even four.
Lots of ferri have decorative pieces between some of the forward fingers. Other ferri have a simpler approach.
Engravings, incised fields, mounted emblems, and other adornments make appearances here and there too.
In many cases it could be said that the ferro of a gondola says a lot about the guy who owns the boat.

So what's your favorite ferro design?
If you were putting together a gondola and could choose the design, or if you had to replace a ferro on your gondola, what details would you include?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Laundry, the Sun, and Quiet Places

photos by Martina Zane

Martina seems to have a great eye for the beauty of the quiet places
in the Venetian lagoon.

Sure there are plenty of areas where it feels like an amusement park, with sweaty tour groups following their guides around, and boats zipping about, setting up plenty of moto ondoso.

But then there are the quiet peaceful places, with laundry hanging to dry in the sun, against a backdrop of peeling plaster and old bricks.

These are views of a Venice most tourists never see, because they are too busy following someone holding an umbrella, and leading them past yet another fantastic mask shop on their way to another spot on the must-visit tourist map they got on the cruise ship.

I once asked a Venetian why they don't use clothes dryers very much in Venice.
His answer surprised me.  I thought he'd talk about saving money, keeping with tradition, or how dryers wear out clothes faster (not sure if that's true but I've heard it before).  Instead he went straight to the sun.

This Venetian told me that there was a difference when clothes were dried in the sun, going so far as to say that you could "smell the sunshine in the clothes" that were dried by the sun's rays.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mid-January in Newport

photos by Alison White
I handed my camera to our Office Manager, Alison White right before I stepped on board for a cruise, and she snapped a nice bunch of photos.  Standing on the upper deck of a charter yacht gave her a great vantage point, and our weather was the closest thing to perfect I've seen in a long time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

One Reeeally Big Sock!

photo by Nereo Zane

It may or not be a record, and to be honest, I'm not sure what the symbolism is here.

I just know that it's the biggest sock I've ever seen.
Nereo sent me this shot, taken during the Regata delle Befane.
My guess is that the giant stocking draped over the side of the Rialto, is like those hung over the chimney at Christmas time, and that the Befane might be bound by tradition to place treats or gifts in it.

That is one big sock.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


photo by Tamás Fehér

There are so many things to point out in the picture.
A water taxi squeezes between a garbage boat in the process of loading,
and a gondola preparing to board passengers. 
The ganzer holds the front end in with his hooked pole,
while the gondolier steps towards the back. 
Behind passengers waiting to board the gondola, a conversation takes place between workmen (I believe they're sanitation workers). 
Under the roof, gondoliers at the servizio appear to have their hands full with a large tour group, or maybe those folks are waiting (or looking) for the vaporetto.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The World's Oldest Gondola Goes to Washington

Most gondolas don't live past twenty-five or thirty years.
In Venice, if your boat is coming apart, you can replace her with a new one from a squero that's a short row away.

When a gondola is removed from La Serenissima, she becomes exotic.
Not surprisingly, most of the oldest gondolas still afloat...are floating in places far from the Grand Canal.
Here in the US we probably have half a dozen gondolas over fifty years old - I've got two here in Newport.
But as proud as I am of my "classics", in the category of well-preserved gondolas there's one boat that's got them all beat.
The "Oldest Gondola in the World" resides in the United States.

Like many others that came later, she was brought over, treated as a special boat, and has survived well because of it.
I had the opportunity to see this historic gondola in 2007, while consulting for Moondance Gondolas in Virginia Beach.  My family and I drove up to the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia, and got to spend a little time viewing and photographing this magnificent vessel.

In April of 2008 I published a blogpost on the gondola entitled
"The Oldest Gondola in the World", complete with photos and commentary of our adventure.

Boats of this significance, and boats of this, shall I say..."vintage" don't get moved around much, so I was surprised to find out that she's making a trip to the capitol.
Complimenting a display of Canaletto paintings which are coming to D.C., the "Oldest Gondola in the World" is making a short journey from her home in Newport News to spend a few months in the National Gallery of Art.

To read more about the gondolas' move, here's a brief article that sums it up.
I know some of you will welcome the chance to see such a boat, and if you're a true "gondola fanatic", you really must see her if you're in the area.

Chances are you'll stand there and wonder the same thing I did,
the same thing gondolier John Synco posted here on the blog:
"I wonder who the last person to row it was."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Boating Legacy of Errol Flynn

As winter is upon us, many gondola operators have their boats out of the water til spring.  Further south, cooler temps prompt gondoliers and their passengers to reach for warm clothes.  Keep traveling south, and you'll find a totally different type of "gondola experience" going on, complete with different weather, different dress code, and a very different kind of boat.
Friends and gondola fanatics, I give you...Jamaica's gondolas!

Ok, so they're a bit far from the mark.
They're using bamboo rafts, punting with poles, and there are no striped shirts (except maybe on a passenger now and then), but the spirit of romance is part of the package.
Couples book rides on these things for some of the same reasons they would book a gondola ride elsewhere.  And there are a bunch of guys who make their living on the end of a boat in ways that are similar to what we do.
I've watched some of these guys talk about their job in TV interviews, and it's clear that they love it.

With as much rainfall as the island receives, Jamaica has many rivers, and I'm told these rafting services operate on several of them.
The whole thing started with mountain farmers bringing their produce to market.  The road system wasn't always what it is today, and for many of these farmers, the "family car" was a donkey.  With bamboo in ready supply, these farmers would build rafts out of it, load their crops on these vesseels made from lashed-together poles, grab one more long pole for pushing and steering, and cast off.

As legend has it, in 1950, Errol Flynn was the first guy to put a seat on one and market it as a passenger excursion.
Flynn was a popular movie star, mostly famous for his roles in pirate movies.  Eventually he retired to Jamaica.  He is also believed to be the first to compare these 30-foot rafts to Venetian gondolas.

Tourism is the island's number one moneymaker, and visitors looking for adventure have taken to this experience.
I'm sure rivalries and friendships exist between the various rafting "servizios".  The rafts are said to weigh 500 pounds or more.  Some operators truck their rafts back up river, while others walk and swim them back upriver after each cruise.  I've heard that some operations have a seniority-based system where the younger guys "make their bones" by hauling the rafts up for the older guys.  Some things seem to be universal.

I've researched a bit, and found that some of these companies have websites, while others simply rely on outside sources (like cruise lines and hotels) to feed them clientele.  Dig deeper and you're likely to find reviews of some of these services - giving an interesting view of things from a passenger's perspective.

One of the more interesting rafting tour operations is on a river known as the Martha Brae.  Like many others, they include different elements of Jamaican culture into their tours.

Jamaica has a special place in my heart.
I grew up next door to a Jamaican family, have spent time on the island as a missionary and have enjoyed a few vacations there too. Sadly, I've yet to visit one of these rafting operations as I didn't know they existed until recently. Rest assured that next time I'm there, it will be on my "must do" list.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


photo by Nereo Zane

Nereo Zane was in Venice recently for the Regata delle Befane.
Now and then we see photos of this unusual event.
It reminds me of a Halloween stunt - and makes for some great pictures.

I asked Nereo about this tradition, and here's what he said:
The befana (also known as marantega in Venice) is an old ugly woman who riding her broom brings cakes, candies, sweets and other gifts to babies and kids. Somebody says she's Santa Klaus wife.

Every year the Canottieri Bucintoro organize a (short) regatta on one oar mascarete whose participants are old members dressed like befane. The start is close to San Tomà and the end is just before the Ponte di Rialto.

To see more photos of the event, here's a link to Nereo's blogpost.
To see the whole blog, click here.

Men Dressed as Old Women, Rowing - now THAT'S worth watching!
Heck, some day I'd love to throw on a shawl and join the row.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Five Fingers

As most of you probably know, today is January 11th.
That's 1-11-11 in some parts of the world, and in others it's 11-1-11.
Either way, it's a date that can be defined by raising all five fingers on one hand.

Here's an example of such a gesture. 
This photo comes from my post "Experiencing the Blue Grotto in Capri". 
This guy wasn't actually indicating the date, he was just saying "Hi".

In the spirit of things, and because for no particular reason, I'm a fan of the number eleven, I'm posting a link to the blog post of July thirteenth entitled "Eleven".

We're getting close to our 1300th post here on the Gondola Blog, and you'll know it when we get there.
Any ideas for 13?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rusty Chains

photo by Martina Zane

Martina has an eye for things most folks might not notice.
In this photo, we see rusty chain wrapped around a large cleat.
It could be anywhere in Venice, but it captures at least a small piece of the feel of the Veneto.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just the Photo - Stainless Steel Ferro

On the afternoon of January 4th, we re-launched the Wedding Gondola on the waters of Newport Harbor.

Whenever you put a boat back in the water, especially if she's been moved around alot, it's best to wait a while and make sure she doesn't have any new leaks to surprise you with. 

The boat had been moved, hoisted, lifted and dragged around on cradles,
so I wanted to be certain she was sound. 
While we watched her float (and not leak), I snapped a few shots of her stainless steel ferro, with the sun reflecting off the water behind.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Squero Canaletto - Half-Size Gondola Project

photos courtesy Joe Gibbons

Here's a set of photos from a few years ago, when Venice had another squero.
This one was different from the others - it was run by Thom Price, and had a number of other squerarioli from different places. 
Squero Canaletto wasn't in operation for more than a few years, but they made an earnest effort, and some interesting things came out of there.

Joe Gibbons from Boston sent these images.  This may have been the most unique boat to come out of the Squero Canaletto.
Joe writes:
"Thom Price was building a half-size gondola for a boat show in Venice. Showcasing squero Cannalletto. The building is not the squero - the maritime museum hosted this event."

Building a half-size gondola, right there on the museum floor is a pretty eye-catching move, and it looks like they definitely got people's attention.

Mathias Luhmann working on a piece before fitting it to the gondola.  Mathias has been seen here on the Gondola Blog - see "Sochetto in Squero Canaletto" from August of 2008. 

Thom and Mathias answering questions from museum patrons, while other onlookers examine the work in progress.

I don't know if this gondola was ever completed.
They can't really be used for passenger service, but it seems like a shame to break apart a project like this halfway through. 
If the boat was completed, I'd love to see her, maybe try and row her.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Zattere from the Ship

The following is a series of images captured from the top deck of a cruise ship departing Venice.
My daughter Cassandra and I positioned ourselves during departure, and to be honest, I'm not sure which of these are hers, and which are mine.
We shot a lot of images that afternoon, but today's series of photos are of the segment of shoreline known as the "Zattere".

The Fondamenta Zattere officially begins at the wooden bridge adjacent to the vaporetto stop of San Basilio.  This canal is a thoroughfare for water taxis.

Probably the most well-known canal in Dorsoduro is the Rio di San Trovaso - it's the one where a certain historic squero lies.  Here's a view of the canal, with the Campanile of Piazza San Marco in the background.

Looking down the Rio di San Trovaso, we catch a glimpse of the squero, and can see how the canal winds back and forth on it's way to the Grand Canal.

Changing the angle a bit, we have a better view of Squero San Trovaso.
Just before the squero, a narrow side canal heads off to the left - follow that canal and you'll pass by the Squero Tramontin and Squero Bonaldo.

Moored alongside the Rio di San Trovaso, is a beautiful passenger gondola - dressed and ready for passenger service.

Here's a closer look at that boat.

Back in April of 2010 I put up a post using this picture.
It seems that everyone wants to look at and wave to a gigantic cruise ship as she plows by.

Not far from the platform, we passed this interesting additional dining space.
I posted this photo originally in May in a piece called "Zattere Restaurant Platform".

Next we see the canal known as Rio di San Vio.
Four bridges cross this canal and a fondamenta follows along one side.
On the other side there's a partial fondamenta, which ends like a small campo.

Moored to two poles near a bridge, we see a lone gondola, and on the bridge the gondolier stands, hoping to convince someone to take a ride in his boat.

Unlike the last two canals, the next one - Rio Piccolo di Legname, takes a few turns before connecting with the Grand canal.

As we reach the end of the Zattere, we see the punta di Dogana, and in the distance, the district of San Marco.

The last time I stayed in Venice with my family, we rented an apartment near the San Basilio vaporetto stop, and we walked the Zattere every night. 
It's a great place to take a stroll, digest what you've eaten, and just breathe the ocean air as it blows in from the Adriatic.

Rick Steves Keeps Us up to Date

I enjoy cathcing up on writings by Rick Steves; he does a great job of following developments in european travel.
Here's an informative article on "What's New in Italy" from the Seattle Times.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ready for Anything

photos by Tamás Fehér

As a dad, I understand how important it is to be prepared for any contingency.
So does this guy.
He's ready for all sorts of things - including high water.
Notice that his son is carrying a foot-pump...just in case they need to inflate their boat a little more.
And as they make their way through Venice, on a potentially acqua-alta day, they are ready, ready for anything.
Somewhere out there, I'll bet someone has a photo of them using the inflatable dinghy.
Way to go, dad!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Wedding Gondola Takes to the Water Again

Steve and I re-launched the Wedding Gondola yesterday.
She'd been out of the water since we used her in a film shoot.

After Steve rowed away from the launch ramp, I grabbed my video camera and took advantage of it's incredible zoom capability. 
Sorry if the frame's a bit jumpy, guess I should have brought a tripod.
About halfway through the video, a Tern (bird) makes a splashdown right next to the boat, and flies away.  Hopefully he got a fish for his efforts.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


photo by Martina Zane
This image, captured along the quay at San Marco, is one I just can't stop looking at.  Waves collide with marble and take flight, with sunlight illuminating them perfectly.

More Gondolas in Egypt

A few weeks ago I posted "Gondolas" - Egyptian-Style - featuring some clever little boats that were in pretty good shape, but my guess is that a lot of you wished that they were authentic Venice-built craft.

Now, we'll take a look at some boats that appear to be Venice-built,
but I suspect most of you will wish they were better taken care of.

We're going back to Egypt, where it seems there is another gondola operation, also in a controlled waterway (that means a fancy swimming pool),
and like the ones in my previous post - it looks like they also push with poles rather than row with remi.

It also appears that they aren't very well-versed regarding the placement of the forward gondolier...

 The place we're looking at here is called the "Venice Canal Mall",
which is located in the Porto Marina Resort.
An earlier version of their website can be viewed here.
Their current site is here - with one or two high-resolution photos of a couple in a gondola (I'll let you do the hunting). 

A better quality image of one of the Porto gondolas can be seen at this link.
Click on the displayed image to get a bigger version on most computers.
Upon closer inspection, the boat is pretty beat up.  It's easy to criticize someone else's gondola, but we must remember that this is Egypt we're talking about.

I haven't crawled through these gondolas personally, but my guess is that they were either built to pretty close Venetian specifications, or more likely, bought in Venice and brought to the property in Egypt. 
Chances are also good that if they were bought in Venice - they weren't bought new. 
All the same, I applaud the gondoliers who are trying to make things work in their given situation.
I hope their passengers come away with great memories,
and I hope they do their best to represent the city their boats came from.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Boston Breakup in Winter

Joe Gibbons of Gondola di Venezia in Boston sent me this photo on New Year's Day, with the following text:
Maybe this image will help you understand why we are longing for summer today. Its January 1 and its 50 degrees and sunny here in Boston. The Charles River would normally be thick with many inches of ice. I think the photo speaks for itself.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Felice Anno Nuovo!

Happy New Year from the Gondola Blog.
As a friend of mine said earlier today:
"Addio 2010 e felice anno nuovo!"