Where do gondole come from

Friday, November 27, 2020 Permalink

It is true that the gondola is just like Venezia: it stays afloat thanks to its balance.

This town is all twisted and irregular, and yet it managed to find a perfect stability.

The Squero Tramontin is indeed a special place, where you do not feel like entering a common boatyard, but you rather have the impression of stepping into someone’s home. And so it is, because on this shore the Tramontini family has been building and repairing handcrafted gondole for 136 years. Each one of them signed on the caenèa – a wooden part placed on the stern – composed of three small triangles followed by two bigger ones in a dovetail pattern.

Right here Domenico T., the founder of the company, came up with a brand new design: he in fact realized the first asymmetrical gondole, which allowed gondolieri to navigate way more fluidly and easily turn around, even in the narrowest canals, rowing with a single oar.

To this day, every boat is tailored to the rower’s weight and needs. Every single piece is different from the others, and that is why they say every gondola has its own soul and its own vibrations.

This tradition has been passed on from father to son, for 5 generations. After Roberto’s passing in 2018, his daughters Elena and Elisabetta decided not to abandon his legacy. With courage and perseverance, but especially with utmost love for the family’s art, they relaunched the business by making space for themselves in what is mostly considered a men-predominant environment. How? By “conveying professionalism through facts”, as they say.

Visit the squero on appointment, let Elena’s unique anecdotes guide your curiosity while you admire Elisabetta at work, in the middle of a restoration.

 

F. M.

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