35. Gondola, the Symbol of Venice
Gondola is the symbol and essence of Venice. Venice is even more beautiful when seen from the water, even better with a gondola ride. The gondola is unique, like the city it represents, also for its characteristics.
The gondola is made up of 280 hand-made pieces using eight different types of woods (lime, oak, mahogany, walnut, cherry, fir, larch and elm). The process to make one gondola takes about two months, and the cost is about 38,000 euros. Despite being 11 metres long and 1.6 metres wide with a weight of 350 kg, the gondola can be manoeuvred by only one person and with just one oar. The left side is wider than the right side. It then navigates tilted on its side, and its flat bottom allows it to sail even on very shallow waters. The oar is held in an oarlock known as a fórcola, which enable several positions of the oar for different types of rowing.
The ornament on the front of the boat is called fèrro (meaning iron) and can be made from brass, stainless steel, or aluminium. It serves as decoration and as a counterweight for the gondolier standing near the stern. The ferro has a very precise symbolism.
• The “S” shape symbolises twists of the Canal Grande.
• Under the main blade, there is a kind of comb with six teeth pointing forward, standing for the six districts (sestrieri) of Venice.
• The tooth on the back symbolises the island of Giudecca.
• The curved top represents a doge’s cap.
• The semi-circular break between the curved top and the six teeth represent the Rialto Bridge.
• The three friezes in-between the six prongs, indicate the three main islands of the city: Murano, Burano and Torcello.
Venice: 8th – 11th October 2019 When you reach Piazzale Roma central bus station, you need to walk crossing the Grand Canal through Constitution Bridge (Ponte della Costituzione). This Constitution Bridge is the famous Red Bridge in Venice, and the floors are covered with Istrian marble and glass. Venice is the only city in the world with a historic centre surrounded by water and crossed by waterways. Venice is made up of canals, alleyways, squares, riverbanks, paved streets along the big and minor canals, and bridges that connecting between small islands. You can get around Venice on foot, and you can choose either water bus (vaporettos), motorboats, motor vessels or ferry ships, or battelli foranei which are a larger type of water bus used for transportation to outer islands. One of the essential palace in Venice is Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) which sits in St. Mark’s Square but looks out onto the Grand Canal. Its front facade features a beautiful arched design made of white stone with a series of diamond patterns on the walls. The Baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute was built as thanks for the end of the plague of 1630. The church impressive landmark is visible across the Grand Canal from San Marco, and as you step inside with your attention immediately drawn to its massive dome. Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition of Venice. The carnival began in 1162 in celebration of the Venice Republic’s victory over its enemy, the Patriarch of Aquileia. The people of Venice gathered in Saint Mark’s Square (San Marco) to dance and celebrate their victory. There was a time when a ban was imposed on the masks and the carnival during the Austrian conquest in 1797. The festivity was brought back by the Italian government in 1979. Nowadays, the Venice Festival of Masks goes for two weeks, from 16th February until 5th March. Santa Maria di Nazareth is the Baroque church next to the Venezia Santa Lucia train station, with the facade of many statues of human figures. The chapel on the right is Tiepolo’s fresco The Glory of St. Teresa, and the chapel on the left contains fresco of Christ praying in… Read more »