Venetian Tradition: The Gondoliers

When thinking about Venice, one of the first things that may come to mind are its famous gondolas. This generalization isn’t without merit. Gondoliers are proudly posted all throughout this beautiful city on Italy’s northeast coast, hoping to entice travelers into participating in this Venetian tradition. The modern era of the gondola and gondolier is that of novelty. For about 80 Euro (about $86), tourists can enjoy a romantic or scenic ride through the many-channeled waterways that comprise Venice.

Before the invention of steam and combustion engines, the gondola was a primary method of travel in Venice. Tradition continues in the form of gondola races. The historical Regatta of Venice brings the Venetian gondoliers to a modern light. Decorated gondolas driven by costumed gondoliers parade down Venice’s Grand Canal before competing in a lighthearted race.

A Gondolier. Photograph by Ryan Shields

A Gondolier. Photograph by Ryan Shields

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