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Gondolas and Ho....
07 December 2016
Earlier in the year, I was lucky enough to see Venice via the most cliche mode of transport available. From the second I handed over 100 god damn euros to my Gondolier, I just wanted to know more about his life, I guess he owed me…
My Gondoliers English was as good as my Italian, woeful at best. (Kinda sad considering I studied Italian for like nine years) Anyway, I didn't catch his name, and to avoid dropping some non-PC name like Luigi on this guy he will just remain as my Gondolier.
Paddling around one of the world's most picturesque locations and making it rain doesn't just happen overnight.
For a start, my Gondolier mentioned that he only got his chance in the industry because he is the fourth generation in his family to hold the prestigious job. However, getting in the door, or should I say on the water is only the first hurdle for an aspiring rookie.
To become a fully-qualified Gondolier, you must take part in a 7-year apprenticeship. Failing the apprenticeship at any point results in the apprentice starting again from the beginning, which is absolutely brutal if you ask me.
Not only does the apprenticeship involve mastering the required balance and composure to navigate the long, narrow boats through crowded canals, the majority of the apprenticeship includes learning the rich history of Venice.
Every Gondolier can tell you something about almost each building on that beautiful sinking Island. I floated by Marco Polo’s original home, then cruised by Johnny Depp's mansion which is actually for sale, maybe the Italians didn't let his dog’s in as well?
By the end of my half hour long ride, I completely understood the high price on the popular bucket list tick-off.
If you're ever in Venice, take yourself on a trip with a new-found appreciation for the Gondolier showing you around.
Also, feel free to check out all the other light reads on my website...
Daniel Kovac - Cliche Tourist