Of course, gondolas are an iconic symbol of Venice. But there’s a surprising number of gondolas in America, too. My most recent sighting: Boston.
Boston natives Joe and Camille Gibbons started the company after they fell in love with gondolas in Venice. They actually went to Venice to see their gondola being made. And then, after meeting a local gondolier, they bought his boat for their operation as well. You can read their story at their website:
I checked in with Greg Mohr, the president of the Gondola Society of America. He said that the Gibbons are “Wonderful people with a true heart for the craft.” Greg and his wife helped them launch their company in 2000, including how to row the dang thing. Gondoliers from The Gondola Company in southern California also helped with training.
Meet the gondolas: Maria and Firenze (named after the Gibbons’ mothers).
I don’t know which gondola is Maria and which is Firenze. When I saw them, I was with friends, and the gondoliers were working, so I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to them.
If you won’t be in Boston any time soon but want to see these gondolas in action, here’s a video the local TV station made. It features gondolier Steve Bruno, who’s been rowing with Gondola di Venezia since 2001 and is a partner in the business.
Want to become a member of the Gondola Society of America? Check out the Gondola Network page for details and a list of members in America:
Or hear what President Greg Mohr, known as Gondola Greg, has to say in his blog:
Greg says, “The Boston servizio is one of my very favorite gondola operations in the US.” I’m all about promoting and supporting gondolas in every body of water they want to float in! I leave for Venice in a week, and if I’m lucky, I’ll get to enjoy a gondola ride in Venetian canals again….