22 October 2009
Gondola waiting for customers
Gondola on black
Gondolas in Venice are about thirty six feet long, 1323 pounds in weight, they are made with eight different kinds of wood in 280 pieces, whereas the only elements in metal are the "iron" of the head and the "risso" of the sternand the gondola is asymmetric. The left side is larger than the right by nearly a foot. The asymmetry makes it inclined on one side. The bottom is flat, so that the gondola can navigate in shallow water, only a few inches deep.
The iron of the gondola head, used to gain stability by counter-balancing the gondolier's weight, is a weapon of Venice:
The upper and inside parts may have decorations in gold and colored velvets and carpets. These are the gondolas especially used for marriages or special occasions and nowadays for customers too.