The gondolas of today adhere to strict construction requirements. They must be 35.6 feet long and 4.6 feet wide (10.85 by 1.4 metres) and weigh approximately 700 kilograms, each custom built to the stature of its new owner. The traditional craft involves the manipulation of 280 handmade pieces. There are eight types of wood: lime, larch, oak, fir, mahogany, walnut, elm and cherry. The boat is built around a wooden template, starting with the bow and stern, before building up the flat bottom and ribs to support the frame. It’s a refined process, passed down from generations, taking a total of approximately 500 hours.