Gondola

November 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The gondola is propelled by a person (the gondolier) who stands facing the bow and rows with a forward stroke, followed by a compensating backward stroke. The oar rests in an elaborately carved wooden rest (forcola) shaped to project from the side of the craft so as to allow the slight drag of each return stroke to pull the bow back to its forward course.Because of the vessel's flat bottom it may also be "drifted" sideways when required.Contrary to popular belief, the gondola is never poled like a punt as the waters of Venice are too deep. Until the early 20th century, as many photographs attest, gondolas were often fitted with a "felze", a small cabin, to protect the passengers from the weather or from onlookers.

 

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