The squero – Find out where the gondolas are made

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The squero – Why is it so important?

With this term we denote the so-called “VENETIAN SQUERO” or the yard for Venetian boats. The term may derive from “squara” (team) instrument of the shipwrights or could suggest a team of people working together to build boats. Initially, this term designated the site for the construction, maintenance and shelter for boats of all sizes both rowing and sailing. Then on the other hand was used only for smaller vessels contained in size such as gondolas, pupparini, sandoli, sciopòni and other traditional boats of the Venetian lagoon. The gondolas are built by squeraroli entirely by hand with 8 different types of wood and months of work, without written projects and personalizing the customer’s request. They are the work of a few craftsmen who handed down the art from father to son or from master to apprentice. To become a shipwright takes at least 36 months of practice and incurring a final exam.

The Squero
The squero of  San Trovaso – Immagine di “http://static.panoramio.com”

How is it the Venetian Squero?

The squero is characterized by a plane towards the channel for the mass to dry and the launching of the boats. Behind the plan fenced on two sides however, there is a wooden fence covered and open to the plan of launching the “la tesa” in english the “tense“, which is both the area of work that the storage of tools. The houses around us are usually also function as dwellings of the owner or foreman. At the time of the Republic of Venice had spread throughout the city, they were very numerous, but then over time both for the drastic reduction of rowing boats, both for the arrival of new building materials, such as plywood and fiberglass the activities of the dry docks have been considerably reduced. Today they survive only six dry docks (squeri). We can find 3 just on Dorsoduro: squero Tramontin, squero Bonaldo (Today specialize also for normal boat), squero di S.Trovaso property of  Comune di Venezia. This is the most famous squero and is possible get a private guide to visit inside. Also last year the municipality is working to accommodate within this squero a Gondola Museum, symbol of the City of Venice. All these 3 “squeri” produce almost only gondole. There are 2 other squeri at Giudecca: squero Crea, the only one craft full gondolas complete of accessories and this squero Costantini-Dei Rossi faithful to the classic type of squero. One more squero is situated at Castello: squero San Giuseppe owned by the mutual aid societies among carpenters and calfati. Both the dry docks (Squeri) of Giudecca and Castello still manage to produce a large quantity not only of gondolas, but also of other craft and typically Venetian boat.

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