Gondola is the future

The Venetian gondola, or simply gondola, is the typical boat of the Venetian Lagoon Venice. It represents a symbol par excellence of the city as well as the the world’s most famous boat model: even if you have never visited Venice in fact, recognises that boat due to its unmistakable line making it a true Naval jewel made in Venice. Thanks to its shape and its speed could reach, the gondola was for centuries the privileged means for the transport of people through the city’s canals. Nowadays, however, it has become an iconic image of a glorious past of Venice and is almost exclusively used for the purpose of tourism: the slowness of his march, romantically, allows tourists to admire the beautiful towns from a privileged perspective that only this type of boat can offer. The gondola is full fledged entry in history, culture, economics, folklore and in the naval tradition of a city known worldwide for its uniqueness, especially in internal accessibility.

But  everything evolves and modernizes, in fact, in 2010, Giuseppe Gioa, owner of the shipyards, Brindisi, Italy, proposed to build for the gondoliers of Venice, a fiberglass boat (lighter and cheaper), instead of the traditional gondola in wood. Despite knowing that the municipal regulation of Venice does not allow gondolas are built in other materials, except by wood; the entrepreneur wanted to inform the Venetian gondoliers on the availability of a new products. But of course no one is thinking to change the traditional gondola and replace it with a “plastic” one.

 

It is possible, however, take advantage of the new technologies and materials, considering one of the most important problems living the city: the “traffic”. The presence of many boats equipped with motor causes the swell leading to wear the banks channels and disturbs browsing significantly slow gondolas through the canals of Venice. Essential would regulate more strictly the speed and passage of motor vehicles in the busiest channels without interrupting the daily lives of inhabitants and tourists, for the preservation of a unique treasure to world as the city of Venice and of one of its best-known symbols, the gondola.

An improvement of the transportation system through ferries will be to restore the ancient connection lines, no longer in use in the city and they can also offer a additional option to the tourist. Also can be resumed the old Ferry landing points increasing the city’s mobility and reviving the maritime archaic vanished.

 

Map of the urban ferry docks in Venice, 1697

The “stazi” urban ferry were mainly along the Grand Canal, in fact how you evince in “Iconographic Plan of Venice” published in 1697, there were 27 and now we can detect well 15, within the city (Ghetto nuovo, Ghetto Vecchio, S. Canzian, Pietà, Prigioni, San Domenico di Castello, Santa Margherita, S.Caterina, S. Giustina, S. Zanipolo, Giudecca, S. Maria Formosa, Misericodia, S. Basilio, Frari) and some specialized in connections with the nearest Islands (Giudecca, S.Giorgio, Murano, Lido). This network was extensive and efficient State-controlled, established for each preset routes, schedules, fares, the number and type of vessels. Unfortunately, today there are only 5 ferries Canal (the gondolas are special types with two oarsmen), which allow you to switch from one side to the other so efficient and at a reasonable cost.

Giandomenico Padovan

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