One aspect of our maritime route is devoted to make, to know and to reveal some precious details that are useful to understand what the gondola means for Venice.

It is not just to let you know a cultural and historical tradition, what we wish to tell you, doing so you may touch it with your own hands, is the uniqueness of this mean of transport and its evolution during the centuries.We’ll always remain faithful to the handicraft excellence of the manufacture that has been able to adapt to the changes of customs and destination of use.

The Gondola: from a means of transport to an emblem of a citizen’s ecosystem

To build a gondola one needs many skills of experienced craftsmen. It’s a boat that is now almost entirely customized, therefore for the size of the gondoliere, the rower, that  will row her.

From this nice video you could gather some aspects, not always noble, concealed in the milllenial history of this boat that, during the centuries, experienced so many evolutions adapting herself to the historical changes of the Serenissima.

So beautiful is the gondola: we’ll discover it exploring the squero [the shipyard where the gondola is made], and the remer

For those that will subscribe our maritime route it will be possible to visit the places where also today gondolas are built or repaired, especially the Squero of San Trovaso.

It will be a great opportunity to be able to exchange some words with those, very few by now, that devote themselves to the care of these boats, trying to snatch, watching them at work, how much experience and mastery are needed to perform the job of the tuning and the launch of a gondola.

In the maritime route we’ll also visit the remer workshop, Saverio Pastor.

The remer is a craftman that builds the oars and the forcole, the oarlocks, of the boats. You can’t learn this job without patience and experience, the lack of young peoples who want to try and begin to work in a workshop to learn this job has led, in recent years, the number of remeri to shrink down to six.

You should think that every rower, that are not only the gondolieri, but everybody that row a  boat, from the amateurs to the champions of voga veneta should have his own oar and his own forcola.

The shape of these rowing “instruments” is calibrated on your body: if you are tall or short, left-handed or right-handed, if you row at the stern or bow, if you are man or woman. All these factors are decisive for the remer who must build, carving them in the wood of your oar and forcola, the pivot on which to lean to make the stroke of the oar in the water.

Entering the remer workshop and be enchanted by the wisdom of gestures, the precision of the cuts, the wood’s scent, ang gain access to a world that will charm you.
Mare di Carta has edited a book written by the venetian historian Alessandro Marzo Magno, that  traces to the present day the history of the gondola, also known as the coach of Venice.

 

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