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Visit Venice

Squero di San Trovaso


This is a 17th century boatyard located next to the San Trovaso Church, it is one of three remaining gondola repair yards in the city and it is the oldest. The boat builders originated from the Italian Alps and so the style of boats that visitors can see constructed today are Tyrolean. The highly skilled gondola builders have been making the traditional boats here for generations and they are the same boats used today to ferry visitors down the canals of Venice. Today the boatyard is used more for repairs than for construction and it services the 350 gondolas which travel the canals.

The traditional structure of a gondola requires 8 types of wood and according to a 16th century law must be painted black. They take about 45 days to construct. The vessels are asymmetrical with the right side always being lower as the gondolier stands at the back on the left. The Venetian gondolas all have an iron symbol, the ferro, of the city affixed to the bow and a forcole or wooden oarlock. Occasionally the Squero di San Trovaso boatyard does get an order to produce a new boat in accordance with tradition.

Unfortunately the boatyard is not open to the public but you can get a peek inside the yard from across the Rio San Trovaso or take a guided tour of one of the other, less photogenic, squero.

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