Tramontin Gondole

The Tramontin Gondola


The Domenico Tramontin e Figli boatyard was founded in 1884. It has built gondolas for - amongst others - the Italian Royal Family, the Prefecture, the Venice Municipality, the City Police and the Carabinieri, and has featured in numerous international publications and documentaries.

A gondola built at the Tramontin boatyard has the following qualities:

Manoeuvrability - a Tramontin gondola is perfectly balanced allowing effortless rowing in the narrow canals of Venice.

Durability - rather than the use of new types of material, it is the combination of carefully selected natural woods and expert craftsmanship that ensures the longevity of the boat.

Design - for its perfect and harmonious form.

The materials

No laminates or plywood are used at the Tramontin boatyard, only carefully selected natural woods. The eight types of wood that are used in making a Tramontin gondola each have different qualities and therefore perform different functions in the boat:

Oak - solid, used for sides;

Fir - lightweight, used for bottom;

Cherry - easy to shape, used for thwarts;

Larch - lightweight and solid, good water resistance;

Walnut - easy to bend with wood, used for frames;

Linden - stable;

Mahogany - homogeneity, used for structure;

 Elm - flexible, used for frames.

The wood is still worked mostly by hand using the basic tools of the ancient art of Venetian boatbuilding: axe, plane saw and hammer. The lengths of wood are curved by soaking with water and heating with fire - still the most effective method that avoids damaging the wood fibres. The design of the stern of each boat takes into account the weight of the gondolier who will become its owner. Instead of the decimal metre, the Veneto foot is used as it is better suited the dimensions and proportions of the gondola.

photo: Luca Vignelli

The client can choose from a range of options including fittings in steel or brass, the carved upper surfaces of the gondola (figurative, ornate, floral) and the steel or aluminium ferri (the distinctive metal ornaments at the bow and stern of every gondola).

For a blibliography of books and magazines that refer to the Tramontin gondola

click here

For a (partial) list of special and/or foreign clients'

click here