Venice, better known as the city of gondolas and canals, is located in the east of Northern Italy. The city consists of 118 small islands and 170 canals. Islands are linked to each other by 400 bridges. In this structure, it differs from all other cities around the globe. Due to this, public transportation is provided by gondolas which are peculiar to Venice. Most of the time, you can see nobody walking on the foot and driving cars.
Venice is also known as the capital of romance. Many people dream of a wedding party or honeymoon in Venice owing to its marvellous nature and serenity. However, in summer, serenity may be broken down with the sings of gondoliers. Most people prefer to listen those songs while visiting city. However, hiring a gondola may be expensive for middle classes.
Venice has been favourite places of visitors for more than centuries. Not only its nature but also its history attracts many tourists. Its history dates back to Middle ages when sailor Venetians dominate the seas and battled against brutal pirates.
During the centuries, Venice has been also the capital of trading. Venetians improved the number systematic and trading arithmetic after they had learnt the fundementals of them by Arabians and Turks.
Even though the city has a beautiful nature, the population decreased drastically from 300 thousands to 72 thousands since the best bread and butter oppurtunity is tourism for many. The rate of youngs in overall population is very low. However, city is visited by average 70 thousands of tourists daily in summer season.
History and usage
The gondola is propelled by an oarsman (the gondolier) who stands facing the bow and rows with a forward stroke, followed by a compensating backward stroke. Contrary to popular belief the gondola is never poled like a punt as the waters of Venice are too deep. Until about two hundred years ago, gondolas often were fitted with a “felze,” a small open cabin, to protect the passengers from sun or rain. A sumptuary law of Venice required that gondolas should be painted black, and they are customarily so painted now.
It is estimated that there were several thousand gondolas during the 18th century. There are a several hundred today, most of which are for hire by tourists, while a few are in private ownership and use.
The construction of the gondola continued to evolve until the mid-20th century, when the city government prohibited any further modifications. The oar or rèmo is held in an oar lock known as a fòrcola. The forcola is of a complicated shape, allowing several positions of the oar for slow forward rowing, powerful forward rowing, turning, slowing down, rowing backwards, and stopping. The ornament on the front of the boat is called the fèrro (meaning iron) and can be made from brass, stainless steel, or aluminium. It serves as decoration and as counterweight for the gondolier standing near the stern.
Gondola passing under a bridge
Gondolas are hand made using 8 different types of wood (fir, oak, cherry, walnut, elm, mahogany, larch and lime) and are composed of 280 pieces. The oars are made of beech wood. The left side of the gondola is made longer than the right side. This asymmetry causes the gondola to resist the tendency to turn toward the left at the forward stroke.