Gondolas | Venice, Italy

Venice gondolas standing still; summer in Italy

You mainly see gondolas in one place on this Earth – Venice. There is more history and meaning in them that you would probably expect. And there are only a few hundred of them – you can only be a gondolier if you receive a license from the Venice’s guild.

The first gondolas used was recorded in the 11th Century, where the flat bottom boats were driven through the shallow channels of Venice. In the 16th Century, Venice’s laws forbade gondoliers from painting their boats in any other colour than black. They also became unified in shape and size. A gondola can weigh up to 700 kg and has 280 component pieces. It can also be built from 8 different kinds of wood.

If you would look closely at the first gondola in this photo, you will notice a metal piece or an ornament one could say. This piece called “ferro” – the “iron”, which has practical and metaphorical meaning. The practical meaning is that the piece is supposed to protect the gondolas if it collided with something. If you wander through Venice though, and pay attention to the different gondola Ferro’s, you will notice that not all of them are alike. In Venice, there are 6 kinds of “Ferro” which are each symbol of 6 districts of Venice.

The Venice gondolas were my inspiration for the photos taken during the weekend that we spent there. Though very inspirational, they were very difficult to capture as they were set in constant movement by the waves. During this early calm morning however, I managed to capture them still.

How do you like the effect?

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