Hidden treasures

Traditional Venetian gondolas and other boats

Local Traditions

Traditional Venetian gondolas and other boats

One of the major attractions in Venice is undoubtedly the Venetian gondolas and other small traditional boats that have plied the waters of the lagoon for centuries.

At one time almost all journeys were made by water and the Venetians invented a series of small boats suitable for all requirements of life in the lagoon. As well as the famous gondolas there is, for example, the pupparìn, a boat similar to the gondola but larger, which was used at the time of the Venice Republic as a prestigious boat for noble families and now is only used for racing; the topetta, was mainly used for freight and today is also equipped with an engine, etc...

The inhabitants of the Venice lagoon also devised a special way to row, which today is called alla veneta, and consists of rowing standing up, leaning forward and using one or two oars. These oars are perfectly smooth, without sleeves fasteners, and are based on an open rowlock for easy manoeuvring and steering since these small boats do not have the helm.

What remains today? There are still passionate craftsmen who repair old boats, oars and oarlocks, like the young Piero Dri, who recently opened his own shop near the Strada Nuova.

If the world of Venetian boats and rowing fascinates you, the short course: Rowing in Venice may be of interest to you by booking online at venetoinside.com.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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