Ok not a real Gondola but the best thing after that. Alberto Penzo in his wonderful shop at S Polo 2681 sells amazing Venetians boats reproductions, not the tacky plastic ones you see walking around, we are talking about real gondolas! The Venetian lagoon has a well-established ship-building tradition. Couple that with an intense passion for boat making and you have a stunning collection of gondola model boat kits constantly in production and on sale.
Gilberto Penzo, born in Chioggia in 1954 from a family of craftsmen and shipbuilders, lives in Venice where for many years he has been conducting a vast research, gathering and organizing information about traditional Venetian boats. Explanations and direct examples of the last remaining gondola builders (squerariòi), surveys of ancient templates and patterns, and - in ideal cases - the direct measurement of intact boats, are the sources which allow the author to reconstruct their forms and the construction methods used. These have given rise to a series of books, construction plans, models for museums and private collections, restorations ans reconstructions of boats.With a group of friends who share the same interest, he founded the association Arzanà in 1992 which specializes in the study and conservation of historical Venetian boats.
If you are not coming to Venice soon you can get them here
The AC45, a rigid wingsail catamaran, is the precursor of a new generation of America’s Cup boats.
Able to reach speeds of around 50 km per hour, the AC45 is also agile enough to guarantee tactical and competitive races, such as those to be “designed” by the America’s Cup Race Management.
Take a tour of the Grand Canal
A wonderful way to take in the Grand Canal is on board a vaporetto (a rounded 230-passenger boat). I have talked before about them here and here .The canal may no longer be teeming with merchandise-laden cargo boats, but it is still the main thoroughfare of Venice, and only a little imagination is needed to understand its historical importance. The three and a half kilometre (two-mile) trip from the railway station to San Marco provides a superb introduction to the city, telling you more about the way Venice works – and has always worked – than any historical tome.
Every family of note had to have a palazzo here, and this was not just for reasons of social snobbery. The palazzi are undeniably splendid but they were first and foremost solid commercial enterprises, and their designs are as practical as they are eye-catching.
Vaporetto tickets can be purchased at most stops, at tabacchi (tobacconists, identified by a white T on a black or blue background) and at Hellovenezia offices On board, you can only buy single tickets. The fare for a shuttle journey (ie one stop across the Grand Canal, the hop across to the Giudecca, or from Sant’Elena to the Lido) is €2.
The mascareta is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian Lagoon. For centuries gondolas were the chief means of transportation and most common water craft within Venice. In modern times the iconic boats still have a role in public transport in the city, serving as traghetti (ferries) over the Grand Canal. They are also used in special regattas (rowing races) held amongst gondoliers. It is similar to punting, except it uses an oar to propel it instead of a pole.
Being on a boat that's moving through the water, it's so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what's important and what's not. James Taylor
Redentore is the celebration most loved by Venetians, to remind the end of the plague in 1577 higlights of the celebration are the poonton bridge across the Giudecca Canal, people gatherings on boats in the St Mark's basin and spectacular fireworks display
Redentore is a popular festival that combines the sacred and profane, as Venice celebrations often do. Redentore is the celebration most loved by Venetians, to remind the end of the plague in 1577, one of the most disastrous plagues in Venice history, still commemorated today with "the famous night of fireworks", on the 3rd Saturday of July. On the 3rd weekend in July, religious and political authorities, inhabitants and guests walk on this passageway to reach by foot, from the historical centre of Venice, the temple dedicated to Christ the Redeemer in the island of Giudecca
For the "famous night of fireworks", between the 3rd Saturday of July and the Sunday after, thousands of Venetians and visitors come to celebrate, in the S. Mark´s basin swarming with boats crowded with people who bring typical culinary delights. Beginning on that Saturday morning, people engages with the organisation and preparation for the Redentore Festival. Foods are cooked for up to 20/30 people; candle-baloons, leafy branches and other trinket are hanged on the boats, terraces and rooftop loggias. Soon as they are ready, those on the boats start looking for the best places in St. Mark´s Basin. After supper with relatives and friends under the showy ornamentation, everybody waits for the great firework show (the "foghi") to begin, usually around 23:00.
If gondolas are the most famous boat in Venice, they are not the only one. All kind of crafts go tirelessly all over town. A large part of them are made out of modern materials, but many old and classical wooden hulls are still in use.
- The peaceful pleasures of Venice in winter (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Venice in Winter (travel.nytimes.com)