Hidden treasures

The boats of Venice’s Lagoon

Local Traditions

The boats of Venice’s Lagoon

Those arriving in Venice for the first time often think that the famous gondolas are the only boats plying the city’s canals...

In reality, there are many types of typical Venetian boats:

  • sandolo, of which we have evidence dating from '300; is similar to the gondola but has a flat bottom, it is not asymmetrical, and therefore rowers position themselves in the center of the boat and not on its side.
  • mascareta is a very lightweight sandalo, used for female races, which can hold one to four rowers.
  • caorlina (originally from Caorle) has a flat bottom and stern and bow equal. In the past it was used as a shipping and fishing boat, while today it is used in the historical parades along the Grand Canal.
  • pupparin, due to its elegant line, it was once used by noble families. It is asymmetrical like the gondola and takes two to four rowers. Today it is used mainly for regattas.

These are also the most used boats for Venetian-style rowing since their structure allows for smooth rowing on the lagoon, even on only a few inches of water ... Where other boats get into trouble or even get stranded, these boats sail smoothly and gracefully propelled only by the thrust of the rower!

If you want to learn more about these fascinating boats and maybe even have a go at sailing them through the picturesque canals of Venice, we advise you to take a look at our Venetian-style lessons: from the de rigueur rowing course to an exciting evening sail and an original proposal combining rowing and Venice’s cicchetti!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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