Gon­do­las, a tou­ri­st’s dream!

Where Venice - - Essentials -

A hall­mark sym­bol of Ve­ni­ce, who has ne­ver dreamt of ri­ding on one of the­se mar­vels of craf­tsman­ship, who­se charms ha­ve wi­th­stood the te­st of ti­me?

The com­po­nen­ts (ap­pro­xi­ma­te­ly 280) of the­se ex­traor­di­na­ry craft still bear their al­mo­st fai­ry­ta­le-li­ke na­mes of the pa­st: ‘san­kò­ni', ‘fiù­bo­ni', ‘so­la­rai' and ‘mai­stre'... To na­me but a few. Tra­di­tion has it that ea­ch gon­do­lier has his own gon­do­la, cu­stom­ma­de ac­cor­ding to his weight and height.

Among the mo­st an­cient boa­tyards (or 'sque­ri'), the mo­st re­mar­ka­ble is pe­rhaps that of Do­me­ni­co Tra­mon­tin and Sons. Esta­bli­shed in 1884, it was the sup­plier to the Hou­se of Sa­voy, the Pre­fec­tu­re and the Com­mu­ne of Ve­ni­ce (Dor­so­du­ro, 1542. www.tra­mon­tin­gon­do­le.it). An in­te­re­sting fea­tu­re that you are bound to no­ti­ce on a gon­do­lier's uni­form is the lo­go. Its mo­st re­cent ver­sion was crea­ted by the Sty­le De­part­ment of Du­ca d'Ao­sta, a shop esta­bli­shed in 1902 in the Rialto nei­gh­bou­rhood by Emi­lio Cec­ca­to. The lo­go fea­tu­res St. Mark as the Win­ged Lion, hol­ding an open book, a sym­bol of pea­ce and streng­th, fra­med by two 'fer­ri' – the tra­di­tio­nal iron gon­do­la prow or­na­men­ts (al­so kno­wn in Ve­ne­tian as 'fe­ro da pró­va' or 'dol­fin').

Brin­ging one ho­me as a keep­sa­ke is nei­ther ea­sy (nor cheap!), but you can avoid this by pur­cha­sing a sou­ve­nir crea­ted ad hoc. Whe­re? At Emi­lio Cec­ca­to's clo­thing and ac­ces­so­ry sto­re, the of­fi­cial sup­plier and tech­ni­cal spon­sor of the As­so­cia­zio­ne Gon­do­lie­ri di Ve­ne­zia (The Gon­do­lier's As­so­cia­tion of Ve­ni­ce) in San Po­lo 16/17

(T: 041 5222700) and in San Mar­co, 257 (T: 041 8478885).

www.emi­lio­cec­ca­to.com

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