DID YOU KNOW?
Il ferro (iron), the distinctive ornamentation at the prow of a Venetian gondola, the most forward part of the boat, serves as its front bumper protecting it from everyday nicks and scratches and the occasional collision with other craft occupying the cramped, shared space.
More than just a bumper, il ferro, next to the winged lion of St. Mark, is the most recognized symbol of the Most Serene Republic of Venice and describes in its design the City of Canals.
The metal band running down the face of the gondola has an “S” shape, representing the Grand Canal cutting its serpentine route through Venice.
The group of six prongs, or teeth, jutting out of the prow, represent the six sestiere (districts) of La Serenissima: Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Marco, San Polo and Santa Croce.
The lone prong, pointing in the opposite direction of the other six, represents the island of Giudecca.
The elegant curve at the top of the design represents the cap of the Doge, the leader of Venice and its most serene republic for almost 1,100 years.
And, the semicircle, between the curve at the top and the prongs below it, represents Ponte Rialto (Rialto Bridge), the oldest bridge across the Grand Canal.
The gondola. It’s the PROW and JOY of Venice.
©The Palladian Traveler
Very interesting, Tom. I am guessing that there is a lot of symbolism in the world that I don’t know about – and you just informed me of some that I wasn’t even aware I was missing. 😀 My life is now a little richer!
Thanks for the feedback, Pat!
I didn’t know this Tom…very interesting! Thanks.
There’s always something new to discover along the cobble. Thanks for the feedback, Sue.
Yet another thank you for these gems of knowledge, Tom. It had occurred that the prow might be useful in combat, but not all the other gems you revealed.
Thanks for the feedback, KRP.
Very interesting and informative with superlative photos, as usual.
Thanks for the enlightenment! I dream to visit Venice and take a float one day…
And, someday you will.
Nice to read you again, Tom.
Good to be back and posting.
Interesting stuff 😉
Just back from a trip to Florence and Venice.
I knew there was meaning to the symbol but couldn’t remember what it was. Dredging Mr Google helped me to find you. Thanks for the insight, I’ll be back. 😊 😊