Venice Gets its First Female Gondolier

Twenty-three year old Giorgia Boscolo just became the first female gondolier after nine centuries of exclusively male rowing in the canal in Venice. Boscolo had to pass a grueling six-month, 400 hour course, but told reporters that she had no fear that she couldn’t handle the physicality of the job: “Childbirth is much more difficult.” Boscolo is the mother of two.
Her father, also a gondolier, has doubts about her participation in this historically male tradition: “I still think being a gondolier is a man’s job, but I am sure that with experience Giorgia will be able to do it easily,” he said.
Damn skippy Papa Boscolo. Better get used to waving across the canal at your diesel daughter.
Thanks to Tiffany for the heads up.

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  1. Appetite for Equal Rights
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I can’t believe there hasn’t been a woman gondolier already! Better late than never I suppose.

  2. anteup
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Good on you Giorgia.

  3. borrow_tunnel
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Go Giorgia! Wooo!

  4. Hollywood Marie
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Two questions:
    1) Is she single?
    2) Is same-sex marriage legal in Italy?

  5. Matt
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I could have sworn I saw a story about another female gondolier(a) a couple of years ago, but then I went back and realized it hadn’t been “official” ( Still, worth noting.

  6. coreroar
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    This makes me realize that I’ve never seen a female cab driver in my entire life! Has anyone ever come in contact with or heard of a female cabbie?

  7. Siby
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink,,681318-1,00.html
    In her interview she says that female cab drivers make up about 1% of the cab drivers in NYC. wow.

  8. A male
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, really, for opening my eyes to the fact that rowing a gondola (and driving taxis) are such male dominated fields. I guess I have seen it since I was a child (even on the TV sitcom Taxi), but simply never took notice. As a percentage, I notice more women piloting commercial airliners I fly in, than driving taxis or trucks.

  9. Hershele Ostropoler
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I have in New York, once. I’ve also only ever had one driver who fit my image of a Jew (in particular, having the same last name as me…)

  10. Hershele Ostropoler
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Not that the last bit’s relevant, just the name thing is arguably interesting.

  11. Velderia
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    This is fantastic news… I never knew this thing was so male-only for a mind-boggling 9 centuries.

    Posted July 3, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    There are female cab drivers in New York City – mostly livery drivers, but some in the yellow cabs too. But not a whole lot of them.

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