Stationing myself on a bridge, I was able to grab a few decent shots of a sandolo as it passed by.
There are a few dozen Venice-built gondolas in the US, but only a handful of sandoli taking passengers for hire.
From some angles you can see how different the rowing position is on a sandolo - the gondolier is up on a raised deck, with space between himself and his passengers, while a sandolista is right there. Heck, he could practically reach right between them and grab some food off the table.
The lower rowing position also makes for a more protected situation,
as the captain has rails surrounding him.
Years ago, when I had a gondolier from Venice working for me in Newport,he looked at the heavy winds we get sometimes, and suggested that we get get a sandolo.