Venice: Boat Building, Bridge Fights and a Boat Legend

by Stefania Bufano

Under Western Skies

As I was researching locations for the recent Part 4 of Ye Bigge Sleepe, I concentrated on the Dorsoduro portion of Venice, because the Università Ca’ Foscari, one of the places that figured in the story is there. That jogged a memory from a walk The Counselor and I took there one afternoon, with only a general idea of a destination in mind.

We encountered this scene:

squero-di-san-trovaso-brad-nixon-2000

We’d happened upon Lo Squero di San Trovaso: “The Boat Builders of San Trovaso.”

In numerous trips to Venice, we’d seen hundreds of boats and ridden in a few, including gondolas. I’d never seriously wondered where gondolas come from, but that’s one place.

The boatyard is marked with a red flag near the bottom center of the map:

dorsoduro-map-marked

According to their website, the squero has been there since at least the 17th Century. The wooden architecture of the boatyard buildings isn’t typically…

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