GONDOLAS ON THE GRAND CANAL (VENICE)
The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian lagoon. The rowing oar, which is not fastened to the hull, is used in a sculling manner, also acting as the rudder. For centuries the gondola was the chief means of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice. It is propelled by a gondolier. In modern times the iconic boats still have a role in public transport in the city, serving as traghetti (ferries) over the Grand Canal. They are also used in special regattas (rowing races) held amongst gondoliers. Their primary role today, however, is to carry tourists on rides at fixed rates.