Venice is a city that emerged from the sea.
The name “gondola” comes from the word “boat”. This definition is given in the Venetian dictionary of Matinelli. Another name is “sea eel” (gonger). Indeed, gracefully, silently, it seems to glide along the surface of the river, easily fit into turns and turn around in place. The boat is 11 meters long and 1.40 meters wide. These are generally accepted sizes; you cannot change them. The right side is slightly narrower than the left (the difference is almost 30 centimeters). Due to asymmetry, it is maneuverable, it is easy to rotate and even rotate in one place. The bottom of the gondola is flat and therefore it is stable. It is controlled by one oar, so that even in a narrow channel two boats can stretch out. A boatman stands behind. In contrast to his nose is a metal tip with six protrusions (mind you, it’s just so many areas in Venice). Another function is to show the height and probability of passage under the bridge. Gondola works on water not only for the delight of tourists, but also for the livelihoods of citizens. To go to visit, to an event, to go shopping – only by water. The usual expensive ones are not here. The maximum is narrow sidewalks. The gondola is not a yacht, the maximum number of guests on board is 6 people. Surprisingly, the gondolier does not triple the strength to lead the little ship. The design is such that it goes with the same speed, loaded and empty. For the convenience of passengers, many boats have awnings over the seats. This is especially liked by tourists who feel like nobles, a part of ancient times. The only negative – the canopy obscures the bottom of the bridges and the sky. Take on board, captain! Gondoliers operate their watercraft. Only a descendant of a boatman can become one. Their activities are licensed, although we will not hide that there are also those working without documents. Officially issue strictly 425 boat management licenses. But getting it is not so simple. It is necessary to pass exams in several subjects: boat management; geography and history of Venice; law of the sea; knowledge of English; navigation. 400 hours are allocated for training (more than 6 months). And not everyone can pass the first time. With a professional gondoliere and no guide is needed. He will tell about all the buildings and people worthy of attention, ride under the bridges of Sighs, Skaltsi, Rialto, Academy, Straw Bridge. And he can tell a story about everyone. Any of the excursions offered on www.sputnik8.com/en/venice will be exciting, romantic and fascinating, because it will be in Venice, in the company of the most charming and passionate gondolier. The very communication of the ship’s captain with relatives, acquaintances and friends meeting on the shore and in the windows of the houses is already a separate, colorful adventureThis definition. The gondoliere profession has long been considered purely masculine, inheriting from the father to the son. But two women have already appeared who have successfully passed the exams and become licensed gondoliers. One of them is the daughter of a hereditary Venetian boatman. The second, who subsequently changed sex, came from Germany. So anything is possible, it would be burning, like Italy, a desire. Another woman, of Spanish descent, is preparing to get a profession, but she already has practice. Traditions of Venice Even boatmen and their means of transportation have traditions. The gondolier sings well, almost like an opera singer. The performance is given preference to barcarole – the Venetian song. Sometimes boat owners depart from tradition and perform the Neapolitan famous song “O Sole Mio” or some of the Beatles repertoire. But it’s better to ask for a barcarole. Where else, if not in Venice, you will hear her. The traditional color of the boat is black, the seats are upholstered in dark leather. At one time, gondolas looked like pleasure boats with flags, garlands, red and gold seats. The Association of Gondoliers sounded the alarm, and everything returned to the historical canons; dress code: hat from Italian straws with a red or blue ribbon, navy striped t-shirt. When cool, a white shirt and jacket / vest are worn over. If the gondolier brazenly violates the tradition, he risks losing his license. By the way, a license can be sold. There are many who want to buy it, although it is not cheap. Do not forget to visit the Maritime Museum of History. The halls display beautiful examples of gondolas with canopies, rich decor. By the way, this is not only transport. He participates in competitions. Do not believe? Come to Venice in early September. On the 1st Sunday of the month, the Historical Regatta (Regata Storica) starts. Distance – 7 km. All areas of Venice and adjacent islands are involved. And before the competition, all the gondolas line up for the parade. Solemnly, pompously, with chic – this is how it should be in Italy.