But Marco was different.

He was frustrated that he couldn’t see beyond the fence.  But Marco noted that a gate in the fence was often opened and closed.  

 

One day, it was left open!  Seeing his chance, Marco escaped the chicken yard at full speed!  Tumbling out of the gate, he quickly ran out onto the sidewalk, barely catching himself before falling into the canal.  

 

 

The water was brown, dark and deep.  Gondolas calmly drifted by, their gondoliers poling their way through the thoroughfares.  One caught sight of Marco and laughed a deep belly laugh that echoed off of the buildings that surrounded them.

Gondolas and Gondoliers

Canals

In addition to some roads and sidewalks, people move around Venice, Italy in boats called gondolas.  Instead of sidewalks that run alongside streets, Venice has sidewalks and bridges that are next to and over canals filled with the water that surrounds the five islands that make up the city of Venice.

Gondolas

Gondolas are flat bottom boats carved out of wood.  The art of carving gondolas has been handed down from generation to generation.  The gondolas have to be made sturdy and water-tight.  They must be able to handle both rough water and navigate tight corners while keeping their passengers comfortable and gondolier safe.  

Gondoliers

Since 2007, students have been required to attend and graduate from a special academy in order to attain a license to work as a gondolier in Venice.  Before that, for many generations, fathers taught their sons the difficult skills of navigating these boats with only a long pole and a memorized map of the Venetian canals.  

But in 2010, Giorgia Boscola became the first ever woman to graduate – and the first woman Venetian gondolier!  

Welcome to Venice and …Please meet giorgia boscola!