Know Your Gondolas Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

OK. So you flew to Venice and smooched your sweetheart in a gondola. You've passed the romance test. But can you pass this quiz?

At the peak of their use in the 17th century, about how many gondolas operated in Venice?

The correct answer is 10,000. Gondolas were to historic Venice what black limos are to New York City today: the conveyance of royalty.

About how many Venetian gondoliers are licensed in the city today?

About 400 gondoliers are currently licensed. The licensing examination is strict, and only about three or four new licenses are given every year.

Before World War II, the traditional outfit of a Venetian gondolier was which of the following?

The outfit was black. It was a holdover from Venetian sumptuary laws that forbade showy excess.

Which of the following accurately describes the design parameters of a Venetian gondola?

A Venetian gondola is exactly 10.725 meters long.

Gondoliers use long poles to push against shallow canal bottoms, propelling gondolas across the water.

Gondoliers are not punters; they are paddlers and use a long oar instead of a pole.

Which of the following is not a gondola design feature?

This might be a nice feature, but a wine holder is not part of a gondola's traditional design.

With just one oar, what keeps the gondola going forward instead of in circles?

Like paddling a canoe, gondoliers use a "J" or a "C" stroke to counteract their craft's proclivity to turn in circles like Clark Griswald in a London traffic circle.

Gondoliers are traditionally required to sing.

If you want music, you can hire an accordionist.

What is one traditional role of Venetian gondoliers?

It's said that because gondoliers transported the city's royalty, they knew anything and everything about them -- and wouldn't tell their secrets.

For the first time in 2010, the Venetian gondoliers guild licensed which of the following non-traditional gondoliers?

In 2010, after hundreds of hours of training (and previous, rejected female applications), Georgia Boscolo became Venice's first female gondolier.

The energy expended by a gondolier paddling with two clients equals which of the following?

In a triumph of nautical engineering, a gondola glides across the water with minimal paddle power -- equal to one person walking at the same speed.

Which of the following is a traditional gondola feature that was lost in the transition from transportation to tourism?

In Venice's history, cabins shielded shy passengers from view. In the mid-20th century, tourists decided these same cabins also blocked the view.

In Euros, what is the approximate cost of a 40-minute gondola ride in Venice?

This is not a cheap indulgence, at 80 Euros. That said, don't even think about skipping it.

Outside of Venice, where is the world's highest number of gondolas?

Where else but Vegas, baby? Naturally, you can take a gondola ride at The Venetian Hotel, Casino and Resort.

The body of a traditional Venetian gondola is carved from a single tree.

In fact, exactly eight different kinds of wood are used to build a gondola.

In addition to looking cool and its use as a bumper, the metal "ferro" that heads a gondola is used for which of the following?

If weight in the back isn't counteracted by weight up front, the craft would ride inefficiently with its nose up.

How many pieces make up a gondola?

A gondola is made up of 280 interlocking parts.

The "forcula" at a gondola's stern is used for which of the following?

Bent like a boomerang and with special notches, the forcula offers many oar positions for paddling, turning and stopping.

In 2007, what feature of gondola design was banned?

The use of plywood was banned. The boat's traditional eight woods include fir, oak, cherry, walnut, elm, mahogany, larch and lime.

Traditionally, a marriage proposal in a gondola cannot be turned down.

Unfortunately, this is false. But think about it: In Italy, in a gondola, what are the chances the answer's going to be "no"?

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