Gondolas

Squero di Tramontin, Dorsoduro, Venice
Although it is much less well-known than its more picturesque cousin, it was in this very squero (boatyard) that the present design of the gondola was perfected. 

In the 1880s Domenico Tramontin, in his boatyard near the church of San Sebastiano, created the prototype of the gondola in use today. By making one side of the boat slightly longer than the other, he increased the efficiency and manoeuvrability of the iconic craft. 

Tramontin's boatyard, one of only three of the surviving squeri, is still run by his descendants. Here old gondolas are serviced and repaired and each year a few new ones are made. Using long-established and time-honoured techniques, a gondola is constructed out of 280 different pieces of timber (cut from nine types of wood).  

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