Some days ago I had the chance to visit Squero Tramontin, one of the places where gondolas are built and repaired. Thanks to Culture Discovery for inviting me.
Visit to Squero Tramontin
We took a water taxi from Santa Lucia train station to the Squero Tramontin, founded in 1884 by Domenico Tramontin, whose picture is on the wall, watching over his descendants.
The daughter of the current owner showed us the place: a wooden shed with enough space for 2 gondole and the tools of the trade. She told us every detail about gondole, things that you can read in my post about the secrets of the gondola.
Basically, a squero can build new gondolas. But it is also the place where gondolieri bring their gondola for periodic inspections, exactly like cars. The two gondolas that I saw at the squero were there for a checkup and to be repainted.
About new gondolas, the price is around €40,000 but it can reach €100,000 and beyond, depending on the features, the decors and the finishings. To build it, it takes about 5 months. An entire month is needed only to paint the gondola, because it requires 6 coats of painting.
To learn more about this fascinating places, go to my old post about the Venetian Squero.
After the visit I had the pleasure to go for a gondola ride from Accademia bridge to docking facing Hotel Danieli, next to San Marco square.
It was thrilling, since it was my first proper gondola ride. As a local, I usually get around by foot or vaporetto. From time to time I take a gondola traghetto. And a real gondola is too expensive for regular transfers (€80 for 30 minutes). But I confess… I was longing to try it!
I liked the experience even if I admit that I didn’t feel that confident on the gondola as I usually am on a larger boat. The boarding and unboarding moments are always problematic for me. 😀 Moreover, we were 5 plus the gondoliere Christian. Surely it would be a better experience when you enjoy it alone with your loved one, and maybe… along small canals. The Grand Canal is too busy.
Plus I had no one who could take a photo of me. I asked to a lady of the group but she didn’t manage to frame both my face and St. Mark’s campanile in the same picture. 😀 So, I settled for these 2 selfies I took. But, who knows.. Maybe one day I’ll take another chance with my hubby.
A short video of the experience: