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Venice: First Female Gondolier in 900 year Tradition

Jun 26th, 2009 | By | Category: Italian News
 
 
(ANSA) – Venice, June 26 – Venice on Friday got its first official female gondolier when a married mother-of-two passed her test, breaking into one of Italy’s last male bastions.

Giorgia Boscolo, 23, passed a gondoliering course introduced by the city council in 2007 to become the first certified woman gondolier in the lagoon in nine centuries.

While she waits to finish her apprenticeship, Boscolo will be able to ferry passengers around as a sort of ‘second captain’.

”I’m immensely happy and proud but today my day starts like every other, taking the children to school,” she told ANSA.

Boscolo inherited her passion for navigating Venice’s canals from her gondolier father, Dante, when she was seven.

”I’ve always loved gondolas, and unlike my three sisters I preferred to punt with my father instead of going out with my friends”.

She dismissed concerns from male gondoliers that she isn’t strong enough to handle the 11-metre-long, 500-kilogramme boats, saying ”childbirth is much more difficult”.

Boscolo’s father said he was happy for his daughter.

”I still think being a gondolier is a man’s job because it requires a lot of physical effort,” he admitted, ”but I’m sure that with experience Giorgia will be able to do it easily”.

Dante’s colleague, Roberto, said: ”Giorgia deserved it because she worked really hard, coming along with us in her free time to learn the trade”.

Before the establishment of the ‘school’ for gondoliers, the profession was passed down from father to son.

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