Friday, October 19, 2018


photos by Candace Benson

She was built in Venice in 1960.
Her squero is believed to be the famous Tramontin family shop.

While under construction, her decks were carved by the legendary intagliador known as "Il Santo" - who depicted allegorical characters in his carvings.

After only about four years of passenger service in Venice, she was discovered by Newport Beach resident Janet Curci while on her honeymoon.
She purchased the gondola from gondolier Giovanni Gianni, 

and arranged transportation to California.  
She went into a shipping container in Venezia, 
crossed oceans in a metal box, 
which was hoisted onto the back of a truck.
The next time she saw sunlight was here in Newport Beach.
She was lowered into Pacific water, 
and has remained in Newport Harbor since 1964. 

Once in Newport, the Curci family re-christened her "Lucia" - after Janet's mother, and the name has been displayed on a brass plate on the bow since then.

The most distinguishing feature of the Lucia is her canopy.

She is the only Venice-built gondola in North America with a felze-di-tela canopy, which can be a challenge in the wind, but experienced gondoliers welcome it.

That canopy is removable, and these photos were taken of a cruise when the canopy was off.

Asymmetry, as seen from the stern.

Il Santo's carvings on the bow.

Just another magic moment.

Lucia sans canopy. 


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