3/52 An Obsession with Gondole

Ferie. Copyright Fiona Michie.

Gondole (the correct Italian plural) and Venice are such a cliche I know, and they have been photographed a million times, but I loved their sleek lines and pretty ornamentation so I couldn’t resist this little album of gondola-related photographs. I shot in black and white as they seem to lend themselves to this medium. This first shot is of the prow pieces of the gondole, the ferie (singular is ferro which means “iron”). The shape is so distinctive and so evocative of Venice.

Rissi, or curls. Copyright Fiona Michie.

From prow to stern, the detail on the back end of a gondola is known as a risso, or curl. These stood out beautifully against the dark underside of a bridge.

Two more elements of the gondola, the wooden fórcola, or oar rest, and a pretty horse ornament on the passenger part of the boat.

The gondola repair workshop near the Zattere. Copyright Fiona Michie.

After a walk along the Zattere one morning we chanced upon what I suppose is Venice’s version of a car mechanic, the gondola repair workshop. There were several boats high and dry and I loved the contrast between the clutter of rope and wood and the sleek, glossy boats.

Gondoliere, Venice. Copyright Fiona Michie.

Finally, what’s a gondola without a gondiliere. This chap was whistling to himself whilst awaiting the slim pickings from the few tourists who visit Venice in winter.



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