Mt. Carmel St. Cristina Society

The Canals & Gondolas of Venice

Did you know...

That in Venice a gondola costs $35,000 and there are 280 pieces of wood that go into handcrafting; there are 9 types of wood - beech, mahogany, cherry, elm, fir, larch, lime, oak, and walnut. There were 10,000 gondolas in the Venice canals in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but now they are only 400 gondolas in the canals. All gondolas in Venice must be painted black unless they belong to a high official. Venice has had gondolas for more than a thousand years but never had a female Gondolier! In 2007, the Art Deco Hotel did hire a woman to steer their private gondola but she is not recognized by the Gondolier's Association. She cannot call herself "Gondolier" and by law is only allowed to paddle guests from the hotel.

The length of Venice's Grand Canal is 2.3 miles. Getting lost in Venice is a given. Be prepared: Venetians do not give directions by street or blocks but in relations to bridges. For example, "two bridges from here" or "after you've crossed the bridge, turn left." There are 400 foot bridges in Venice and you need 90 minutes to walk from one end of Venice to the other!!