On October 7th, 2015 we made our first tour, and the people we guided had chosen the maritime route. During the tour, we stopped at some traditional workshops in Venice, and something surprised our group.
Let’s see what that something was.
The stops on the maritime route
The groups – consisting of maximum 6 persons – we lead on a discovery tour of Venice with a guide and a chaperone, travel on a bragozzo.
This typically Venetian boat takes the group to all of its goals: Arsenal, squero, hat shop and Arzanà, the association preserving historical boats.
The Arsenal and Arzanà are primarily or secondarily related to the naval history of Venice:
- the Arsenal is the place where the Republic of Venice built its ships;
- Arzanà is the association trying to take care of a less grand part of the heritage of Venice: workboats and fishing boats. They are therefore not as prestigious and splendid as the ships produced in the Arsenal, but they’re nevertheless an important piece of Venetian history.
As well as visiting these examples of past Venetian production activities, though, we want to show you two still existing activities: a squero and a hat shop.
Why visiting traditional workshops in Venice
The Squero of San Trovaso and Giuliana Longo’s hat shop are, indeed, still alive and kicking. The former therefore keeps on making and repairing gondolas, the latter has been producing hats for all the city’s gondoliers – as well as other hats! – since 1902.
But why do we take our groups to these workshops?
And, most importantly – as the group of October 7th wondered – why do we give craftspeople a small reward?
The answer to the first question is simple: because they help keeping some aspects of Venetian history alive: they’re indeed less known, but nevertheless trivial.
And this takes us into the next question: the small reward is a way to thank these craftspeople for dedicating some time to tourist, in order to let them see that Venice is still bursting with life. And we think a small contribution can help them keeping it so.
A final note: the reward is included in the route’s rate, and it’s paid by the chaperone.