Squero Padovano

In Venice squero is the boatyard for the building, maintenance and shelter for traditional boats such as the sandolo, mascareta, puparin, and, of course, the most popular gondola. Even in Padua, city of waters, as in Venice, there were once squeri overlooking the waterways.
Within the walls of the ancient city, in a hidden place to rediscover, we have improvised our squero. Here we're trying to share a story that has been lost over fifty years ago.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

The romantic lagoon.

In the paintings of Guglielmo Ciardi and Pietro Fragiacomo, two of the greatest Venetian landscape painters of the nineteenth century, we find the light, the colors and the extraordinary romantic atmosphere of the lagoon.

Sunday, 1 March 2020


The name sàndolo in Venice indicates a series of boats belonging to the same family (the mascareta, the sampierota and the s-ciopon belong to the sàndoli family)
It seems that the name derives from sandalium, sandal, the flat shoe (just like the bottom of the boat) suitable for walking on the waterways of Venice.
The Sandolo da Barcariol is a black boat that can be seen in some places in Venice intended for the transport of tourists and which is therefore also confused with the gondola.
In reality, the (sàndolo da) barcariol is shorter and more massive than the gondola, slower, but more stable than the gondola and in any case easy to handle, it can be carried by one or two rowers.
In July 2018 we recovered an old battered barcariol in Venice. After a restoration, in which we also made some modifications to adapt it to our river transport needs, we finally put it back on the water on September 22, 2019.
Our barcariol has a length of about 9.28 meters and a width of 1.64 meters.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Visit the historic Giethoorn Schreur shipyard (NL)

Giethoorn is a unique historical and cultural site, also known as the 'Venice of the North'.
On July 23 and 24, during my stay there, I could visit Punterbouw Schreur, one of the two historic boatyards of the place with a history dating back to the early eighteenth century.
The yard has two parts. A more traditional, housed in what was supposed to be starting in a barn, and a modern and larger one where more innovative work is done.
Of course my interest was especially for the traditional one, where the "punters", the tipical local boats, are born.
I would call the punter a solid, stable, elegant and versatile boat at the same time.
The name of (dutch) Punter includes actually a family of small boats that can be pushed forward by the "punteraar" with a long stick, through narrow channels with shallow water  (a second persons is needed to stear the boat).
But in the open spaces they usually mount a sail. Currently they are all generally adapted to mount an outboard motor.
The traditional local punter (Giethoornse punter) has a length of 6.30 m, width 1.50 m, depth 15 cm.
In Ghiethoorn's shipyards are built also other small kinf of punters such as the Kamper, the Beulakermeer, the Zeilboatien and punters a bit bigger such as the Noordwesthoek (7.9 x length 1.90 wide), IJsselmeer (7.45 x 2.10), the Kuunder (8.85 x 2.90).
These crafts are still made of strong and solid oak wood and typical of Giethoorn is the shape of the rudder.
At the site are currently also built boat tours (rondvaartbok), up to 50 seats (I have seen two under construction). The hull is actually made of aluminum with cladding made of oak wood and is powered by an electric motor.





Boat tour around Giethoorn:

Friday, 14 July 2017

Sandolo from S. Pietro in Volta

In the island of Pellestrina, where it originates, in the past the fleet was almost exclusively made up of such boats.
It is counted in the family of sandoli, but differs from other family members for construction features: it is more robust and heavier, shorter, wider, has more height to the side and higher than the bow to the stern.
In spite of the greater weight that makes it stable, it is still manageable. Rowing can be carried out with only one rower (also suitable for valesana), two or three.
It can also be armed with sail.
When, in the last century, entered the city in Venice, the Venetians, for which the sandolo was something else, called it sampierota boat or simply sampierota.

see more about the restoration of this boat

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Repair of the sandolo

The "sandolo" of Amissi has been much neglected and the result can be seen in photographs:

This summer the work was rebuild some parts of the boat structure ("sanconi" and "piane"), then replace the rotten planking of the sides and bottom:

Now the hull is ready to be painted:

Wednesday, 1 June 2016