As many people know, there are no automobiles (or roads for that matter!) in Venice. Americans might then assume that all Venetians use gondolas as they would cars. (Especially when you see the photo of a glimpse of "Gondola Rush Hour" in the late afternoon, as they ready for the evening serenade on the Grand Canal...) What many people don't know, however, is there are, as my husband puts it, "land Venetians" and "water Venetians." My husband is one of the former, who walks and takes public transport to where he needs to go in the city. It used to be said, in fact, that Venetians typically rode in a gondola only on two occasions, those of their weddings and of their own funerals. Had I only been married in Venice, I might well have been tempted to go for the wedding gondola myself. Except that my husband said at the time that he wouldn't be caught dead in one! (From which I can only guess means that the funeral gondola would be out of the question, too!)

Anyway, as you can see, ceremonial gondolas are more classy than the usual thing--including not one but two gondoliers, decked out in their formal whites, and fresh lilies adorning the bow--as you can see in this phone-photo of the gondola arrival of a Venetian bride at the church this past weekend. (Please pardon the low resolution... I like to think that the camera phone creates kind of an "impressionist," not to mention anonymous, effect for unexpected photos taken on the fly!)


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