There is a certain look that we associate with the Venetian gondola and its oarsman. The boat will be a glossy black, with ornate metal fittings, and have a royal blue cover when moored. There must be some local by-law that governs this yet I have been unable to find reference to it, but if every vessel had a different coloured tarp to protect it, they wouldn’t have the same visual impact when moored along the quays of the Canalazzo.
Similarly the famous striped shirt of the gondolier, some red, some blue; is there a meaning attached. Seemingly not, for up until the Second World War, the rowers wore black to match their boats. It seems we have French sailors to thank for the introduction of the stripes, pre-empting Jean Paul Gaultier somewhat.