What Is Gondola And How Does It Work?

Gondola definition and meaning:

GONDOLA, a small, narrow, flat-bottomed craft for the transport of passengers and goods on Venice’s canals and bay. In the 11th century, a gondola was a ship’s boat with as many as 12 oarsmen. It was only about the year 1500 that the Ti Emi acquired its present meaning.

Since the 18th century, the manufacture of gondolas has been nıonopolized by a small group of families; largely because of this, the shape has changed little. A unique feature is the gondola’s asymmetrical construction: the port side has markedly more curvature than the starboard so that the craft can be efficiently driven by a single oar set on one side near the stern.

The gondolier stands, facing forward, on the starboard quarter and pushes, with complex motion, an oar supported in a crotch. The toothed prow ornament, 44 pounds (20 kg) of heavy iron, helps to counterbalance his weight. Passenger gondolas today averages 36 feet ( 11 meters) in length -about 8 times their widest beam- and draw about 8 inches (20 cm) of water.

Centuries ago, gondolas were decorated so sumptuously that Venice passed laws against such extravagance; hence, today, all are a somber black. The passenger’s gondola, Venice’s taxi, is still somewhat decoratively carved, however.