Venice and gondolas are inseparable – they are the horse and the carriage, the peach and the cream, the fish and the chips – well, you get my drift. They were once the main form of transport on the Venetian canals, these flat bottomed boats propelled by a standing gondolier using a long oar.
Gondoliers are really rowing their boat not pushing it along with a long pole as in punting. Gondolas were and still are useful as ferries in a city so divided by canals. Everywhere you go, you are bound to see at least one gliding along, their gondoliers using the centuries old technique that suits these waters.
I spent two weeks in Venice recently and I have grown to admire this ancient form of travel. It’s not as easy as it might look so it was interesting watching two novices practicing out there on the Grand Canal – they may have been new to this but I suspect they have gondolier blood in spite of their non-traditional dress.
Sometimes, well, it’s only human nature, the gondoliers can charge you silly money for this most romantic of photo opportunities but you don’t have to accept the price suggestion without a counter argument even if it makes you look less in love by doing so.
After-all, there are plenty of gondolas and gondoliers in Venice, so you could always opt for a different and more reasonably priced one.
There are many reasons for taking a gondola ride but, maybe, the best one is that is is just such a lovely way of travelling on water.
It is also much kinder to this frail crumbling city than the speed boats too often seen racing their way down this ancient thoroughfare.
COLIN BELL’S PUBLICATIONS:
Stephen Dearsley’s Summer Of Love
Ward Wood Publishing
October 30, 2013
Genius Floored: Uncurtained Window
Soaring Penguin Press
June 15, 2013
Genius Floored: Whispers in Smoke
Soaring Penguin Press
June 6, 2014
Poetry and short story anthology
A Kind Of A Hurricane Press
The Blotter Magazine Inc.
Three pages of poetry in the American South’s unique, free, international literature and arts magazine.
The Fib Review
My Fibonacci poetry has appeared in this journal from 2009 until the present
Shot Glass Journal
Muse Pie Press
My poetry has appeared in various issues of this short form poetry journal
Every Day Poets Magazine
Every Day Poets
I have various poems of the day published in this 365 days a year poetry magazine.
In The Night Count The Stars
March 1, 2014
An “uncommon anthology” of images, fragments, stories and poetry.