There were ten thousand gondolas in Venice in the sixteenth century and there are less than 500 today, but it is still the most romantic way to see the city. One can not imagine Venice without combining the image of the gondolas.
When you see a goldolier in photo in traditional garb, you know it is a picture of Venice even before seeing the beautiful architecture or landmarks. They add so much to the romantic fantasy of this city, so I thought they deserved a blog entry all to themselves.
I took some of these pictures from a gondola, some from bridges looking down on them, some from vaporetto’s (water bus) passing by or just walking along. Where ever you are in Venice, there they are and always fascinating to me. How many boats have a prime place for a vase of roses or lush gold and red upholstery? We loved how the gondoliers kick off the buildings in the canal from time to time to negotiate their way through exigent passage ways.
One average Gondola costs forty thousand euros, is 36 feet long, 5 feet wide, and weighs 1350 pounds. Most gondoliers come from generations that have been doing it for a living. It is harder work than one imagines and takes a lot of skill to navigate the busy canals where everything must be delivered by water. God Bless gondolas and gondoliers, they still make people smile and feel the romantic joy today as they have for centuries!