Since then, as I got to know her owners (all via e-mail),
I wanted to go there, meet them, and see the boat.
A few days ago I was fortunate enough to do just that,
and I was not disappointed.
The owners - father and son Franco and Simon Bognolo love their gondola...and it shows.
The boat is about 35 years old, they say, and she looks fantastic.
is it because they love the boat,
because she spends winter being maintained and restored,
because since her arrival in Denmark she's only taken out friends and family,
or is she simply receiving the kind of care a boat of this pedigree should?
I think it's all of the above.
Whatever the case, this is a beautiful gondola that I wish I could have spent more time rowing.
Here's a shot I snapped while rowing in tandem with Simon.
Later on in the day, Simon was gracious enough to show my family around the city and host us for dinner - he and his girlfriend provided a delicious meal which included some great local fare (and Italian red wine, of course).
Later Simon's parents stopped by for desert and we all had a great time getting to know each other.
Franco is originally from Venice, and my wife's parents are full Italian.
Very few of the people in the room weren't Italian to some degree.
My daughter said to me later on that night:
"Italian dinners are fun, and very loud".
Many thanks to our Danish friends for your warm hospitality.
I can't remember the last time I felt so welcome.