Did you know that gondolas used to be painted with the colors of the families that owned them, before 1630? I was only after the plague that ravaged Venice in that year, that they started being painted black as a sign of mourning.
Did you know that a gondola is built using six different types of wood? Oak, elm, cherry, mahogany, fir, and larch are used for different parts of it, according to their mechanical characteristics.
Did you know that it takes about 400 man-hours of labor to build a gondola?
These are all things that I learned when I finally had the opportunity to visit one of the only two boatyards in Venice where gondolas are still build by hand, using the traditional methods.
This visit was a nice change from the routing of shooting Venice Carnival masks and I believe the guests of my workshop appreciated it very much. I’m definitely going to include this experience in future editions of the workshop.
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my good friend Silvano, my main source of insider info about all things Venetian. Thank you, my friend!