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

Latest posts

Padua: Bartolomeo Cristofori: the Padua-born man who invented the piano

Did you know that...

Did you know that the inventor of the piano hailed from Padua? That’s true and his name was Bartolomeo Cristofori. Bartolomeo Cristof...


Venice: The gondolier: the warrior of the lagoon

Mysteries & Legends

Everybody knows who a gondolier is and what he does: he is the person who, with dedication and ability, propels the gondola, the tradit...


Venice: Why is it called Titian Red?

Figures of speech

Do you recall the sensual ‘Venus of Urbino’ or the elegant ‘Woman in the mirror’ by Tiziano Vecellio? Now, just focus on the re...


Cortina D'ampezzo: A Museum in the Clouds in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Mysteries & Legends

If you reach the summit of Mount Rite at 2181 meters near Cortina d'Ampezzo, it will come as a surprise to find among the barren dolomi...


Top posts

Venice: How much does a gondola ride cost?

Did you know that...

Have you decided to visit Venice and included a nice gondola ride on the list of things to do? How could we blame you! Is there anythin...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...


Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...


Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...