A state with a rich naval history is bound to have learnt a thing or two about efficient propulsion on the water.  The gondola has a number of unique features but amongst them, and unique to each gondolier is the fórcola; the oarlock against which he pushes and pulls to propel and steer his vessel around the narrow rii and across the broader expanses of water.

Research suggests that the amount of energy expelled by a gondolier transporting two passengers is no more than if he were walking the same distance.  Much of this is down to the design of the fórcola, allowing 8 different positions for rowing, and carved individually to be a custom fit for each gondolier to give the optimum leverage for his body shape.

Just because it’s highly functional doesn’t mean it can have style too.  Think of Italian shoes.Venezia-4

 

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