Gondolas | Gondola Venice Pictures, Photos & Images. Fotos { 34 images } Created 10 Apr 2011

Pictures images Photos of the Gondolas of Venice. The gondola is one of the great icons of Venice and Italy. The Gondoloa is a very long narrow row boat which tapers elegantly to a shap point at either end. At the rear is a platform for the Gondalier, the oarsman, to stand on and row from. In the middle are seats fro the passangers. At first sight the Gondola looks like the most unsuitable boat to navigate the narrow canals of Venice. The shape of the Gondola has evolved to make it a very moverable water craft that can turn the sharpest corners of the canals. It is built with a curved boby , the left side of the gondola is made longer than the right side, which makes it naturally pull to the left so eventually, with no intervention from the Gondalier, it would turn in a complete circle. The Gondalier uses a long single oar which he rows with from the right side of the Gondola. The action of the oar pushes the Gondola to the right so if the Gondalier rows all the time the Gondola would make a complete circle to the right. By a combination of these two factors the Gondala becomes a highly manovarable boat The oar or rèmo is held in an oar lock known as a fórcola. The forcola is of a complicated shape, allowing several positions of the oar for slow forward rowing, powerful forward rowing, turning, slowing down, rowing backwards, and stopping. The historical gondola was quite different from its modern evolution- the paintings of Canaletto and others show a much lower prow, a higher "ferro", and usually two rowers. The banana-shaped modern gondola was developed only in the 19th century by the boat-builder Tramontin, whose heirs still run the Tramontin boatyard. Gondolas are handmade using 8 different types of wood (fir, oak, cherry, walnut, elm, mahogany, larch and lime) and are composed of 280 pieces. It is estimated that there were eight to ten thousand gondolas during the 17th and 18th century. There are just over four hundred in active service today, virtually all of them used for hire by tourists. The profession of gondolier is controlled by a guild, which issues a limited number of licenses granted after periods of training and apprenticeship, and a major comprehensive exam which tests knowledge of Venetian history and landmarks, foreign language skills, and practical skills in handling the gondola typically necessary in the tight spaces of Venetian canals.

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Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gondola
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