Gondola’s Features

In order to navigate in a straight line the Gondola must be unbalanced: 33 feet long, almost 5 feet wide at the center, and weighing 4 quintals. It is piloted by a single gondolier thanks indeed to its asymmetrical line. The oarsman, besides steering it forward, must also control the lateral movement. With the left side more than 9 inches longer than the right side, the craft floats leaning to one side and becomes maneuverable only when the pilot is on board, balancing the thrust of the single oar that would tend to make it move toward the left.
The only metallic elements are the “ferro” (the word means iron) at the bow and the “risso” a curled ornament at the stern. It is shaped like a comb , with six teeth recalling the city’s six districts, while a solitary one, turned in the opposite direction, refers to Giudecca.


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