Magic Gondola in Burano – Venice, Italy

The gondola is the most emblematic symbol of Venice. Before a major means of transportation, it’s now a touristic – and expensive! – attraction. But it’s still used by Venetian to cross the Grand Canal (traghetto). The number of gondolas in Venice has dropped from around 10 000 in the 1500s to about 400 nowadays.

Magic Gondola in Burano

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Gondola in the Venetian island of Burano, Italy, 2003
Gondola in Burano (Venice)


Yashica FX, T-Max 400, 50mm Contax Zeiss f/1,4 – 2003

Google Street View, Burano Shot Location

Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy, near Torcello at the northern end of the lagoon, known for its lace work and brightly coloured homes. The primary economy is tourism. Burano is 7 kilometres (4 miles) from Venice, a 40-minute trip from St. Mark’s Square by a Venetian water bus, vaporetto. The island is linked to Mazzorbo by a bridge.

I can’t be sure about the exact place where I shot the gondola but it should have been here or very close from here, even if the wooden stakes are gone.

About Gondola

400 Hours of Training

To become a gondolier (gondolieri), you need 400 hours of training during six months to get the practical skill to handle the gondola.

According to an article in The Guardian, in 2017, there was only one female gondolier in Venice. Alec Hai, a transgender man, was the first female to become a gondolier in 2010.

A Gondola is Always Black… Except in Burano

Burano is a Venetian island, less than 10 kilometers from Venice. It’s very close from Torcello, an other Venetian island, referred to as the parent island from which Venice was populated.

Burano is famous for its colored houses: you need to be really in love with Black and White photography to put a Black & White film in your camera when walking around! Of course, it was before everybody got a digital camera…

The very few gondolas belong to people who use them for their pleasure, not for tourists. In Venice, all the gondolas for tourists are black: a sumptuary law of Venice required that gondolas should be painted black. But in Burano, if you’re lucky, you can see a red or a yellow gondola. If you see a colored gondola in Venice, it probably comes from Burano.

You can see a view of Burano on Google Maps. And a photo shot from a gondola in Torcello by the french photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Video – Gondola Ride by Night

Venice Fullscreen Slideshow

This photo is part of the VENICE gallery: select the image below to watch the Slideshow in Fullscreen.

Carnival of Venice Riva degli Schiavoni, San Marco, Venice, Italy, 2001
Venice gallery

Featured Images from the Blog

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Campo San Silvestro, Venice, Italy, 2001 - Yashica FX, T-Max 400, 50mm Contax Zeiss f/1,4
Featured photos from the blog taken in Venice

2 Comments on “Magic Gondola in Burano – Venice, Italy”

  1. Hey, great job! You make me feel the need to go to Venice as soon as possible! Thank you,

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