The crooked sustained boats are the symbol of Venice, and a boat ride along the famous Canal Grande is a special experience! Water best explores the unique lagoon city with its uncountable canals.

The history of the Venetian gondolas

Once, the gondolas were the only mode of transport in the water city, and more than 10,000 of them slid through the narrow canals. Today, just around 400 gondolas are manoeuvring the tourists through Venice.

The first gondola was named in 697 A.C. at the election of the first Doge, but it did not have much in common with the gondola of today. At that time, the vehicles were flat and often covered with a large cloth, and they looked less elegant than the gondolas of today. They became the status symbol of the aristocrats and the rich people, and as the better of the owner was, the more prestigious and colourful was his gondola.

In the 16th century, the colour black was chosen as uniform colour by the former municipal leader to limit the lavishness of the aristocracy. Therefore, the interior of the gondolas was decorated more and more luxurious. Some of these models can be viewed today in the Museo Storico Arsenale in Venice.

The traditional manufacture of the wooden boats

The famous water vehicles are still manufactured traditionally: eight different wood types, such as from the larch tree, maritime pine, elm tree, spruce, fir tree, willows, cherry tree and oak tree are used, as every wood has its special characteristics. 

The gondola has a length of 10,85m and always are 24cm wider and 16cm longer on the port side, the left side, to balance the weight of the Gondoliere, the driver.

Due to the crooked form, only its middle part lies in the water and makes it very maneuverable; what is important in the narrow canals. A new varnish is necessary every year and an inspection in the shipyard after 14 years. Due to the salty water in the lagoon, the curved wood straightens, and the gondola loses its essential characteristics.

Booking and further information

Enjoy a gondola ride along the famous Canal Grande on a custom-made group tour or team event to Venice or Venetia! We will also be pleased to create an individual supporting program of your company event or incentive trip to Venice. We are looking forward to your no-obligation request via email, our contact form or phone +49 611 945879-42!

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