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Venice's sleek and graceful gondolas
are a symbol of the city.
From the start, boats were the way to get around
among the island communities of the lagoon.
To navigate over shifting sand bars,
the boats were flat-bottomed,
and the captains stood up to see.
Today's boats still come with gondoliers standing up,
and no rudder or keel.
They're built with a slight curve,
so that a single oar on the side propels them in a straight line.
The art of the gondola survives in the quiet back canals.
In this shop the workmen,
were traditionally from Italy's mountains.
That's why they maintain a refreshing Alpine feel
in this delightful little corner of Venice.
Nearby, in an artisan's workshop,
visitors are welcome to observe as he provides for
the city's 400 gondoliers.
Working with traditional tools,
graceful oars are carefully planed
to be true and properly balanced.
And each walnut forcula --
the stylized oarlock --
is like a sculpture -- hand crafted,
one of a kind, and honoring the city's heritage.
A gondola ride
is a traditional must for romantics.
Gondolas are moored everywhere.
Wait till early evening,
when the crowds are gone and the light is right.
Find a gondolier whose personality you enjoy,
settle on a price, and hop in.
[ Speaking Italian ]
On a gondola, you glide through your own private Venice,
far from the hubbub of modern tourism.
Lonely bridges,
canals without sidewalks,
and reflections of once-upon-a-time grandeur.
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Venice, Italy: Romantic Gondolas

340 Folder Collection
Ntiana published on May 26, 2017
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