First Female Gondolier risks expulsion, two days in…

Oops…two days into her intern job as the first female gondolier ever, Giorgia’s gone Hollywood on us.

traghetto.jpgAccording to this morning’s article in the Gazzettino, Dino Di Meo of the French Liberation was dumbfounded when, in response to his request for an interview and a photograph, he was redirected – by SMS – to Giorgia’s agent. Gonna cost ya, big guy.

And no, the Ente Gondola guys are none too happy about it. In fact, after President Aldo Rosso vehemently defended her right to be the world’s first gondoliera, he’s now threatening to throw her right back out. No gondolier is even permitted to talk to the press without authorization of his/her capo, much less take money for the privilege.

She’d “better keep her feet on the ground,” says Aldo Rosso in the Gazzettino article. “If she intends to earn money on her image and on that of being a gondolier, this will be it for me. The honor and history of being a gondolier can’t be sold, even if you’re talking about the first woman ever authorized to take oar in hand.” He went on, “Giorgia will learn the rules of the trade, the ethics, and the code of conduct. This rest is so much smoke.”

[I know this is my cue to launch into a tirade about the use of terms like honor and code-of-conduct as it relates to gondoliers, but while this is the place, it is not the time.]

We’ll see what Giorgia decides. Essendo tanta in gamba, I doubt it will take long for her to determine that there are a great many ways to profit from being the world’s first female gondolier without breaking any rules…and without alienating every other gondolier on the planet, including the ones that stood behind you from the get-go.

Dura, fia: dai che ce la fai!

7 thoughts on “First Female Gondolier risks expulsion, two days in…

  1. Shawn

    Hrm, I’m torn. Without a representative, she could easily be swamped with all sorts of requests and, frankly, be taken advantage of — or at least be pestered to death. Can’t blame her on a practical, savvy level. ‘Course, if it’s against the rules, that’s another matter. But you’d think the Ente Gondola would’ve foreseen the media interest and addressed the issue before announcing the decision. To me it smacks just a little bit of “don’t get too uppity, fia!” Either way, it’s a peculiar turn of events.

  2. Jim Caputo

    Hi Nan
    I’m having trouble with the two Italian expressions. I assume they are idiomatic and therefore not to be translated literally.

  3. nan

    For the Italian, it translates roughly to…Hang tight, girl (Venetian); go on, you can do it…

    For the Hrm…it all happened pretty fast. Theoretically, if you’re a gondolier, it’s all for one, etc. How that plays out in the end I’m not sure.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s not pretty overwhelmed…hopefully they’ll sort it all out.

    Or she’ll just take the movie deal. 🙂

  4. Irene of American in Padua

    These days, the younger generation wants money when it comes to everything and anything. I remember when the young Austrian girl who had been abducted and imprisoned for about a decade in an older man’s house wanted to sell her story for big bucks, too!

    I can’t believe the gondoliers have actually broken their own tradition of letting a woman possibly do the job. They are so set in their (also less-than-gentile) ways.

    But now Giorgia’s behaviour is giving them a great excuse about why they should expel their first, and maybe last, woman co-worker.

  5. Tamas Feher from Hungary

    Hello, Do you have any current info about Alexandra Hai? Supposedly she also tested for this gondola exam, but failed again (something like 5th or 6th occasion). I wonder if they will try to use this excuse to get Alexa banned from her current hotel “gondolier di casada” jobs?

  6. nan

    You cannot ban a person from rowing a gondola. I row a gondola. I could ask for money for rowing a gondola (do not hold your breath). The gondolier association can’t have Alexandra fired from any private job because…it’s private. 🙂 She is a gondolier for hire, just not an official, black-and-white-striped-shirt sort of gondolier.

    Alexandra was parked behind us (the Serenissima, when we were the first ever all female crew!) at the Regata Storica last year. She is a delightful lady and I believe her passengers had an extraordinary day.


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