Highlights of this tour

  • Gondola dockyard in Dorsoduro
  • Traditional mask-makers in San Polo
  • Private watertaxi ride through Venetian canals


We start our ARTS & CRAFTS IN VENICE tour with a private water taxi ride to the extreme western end of Venice.

Here we meet Roberto Tramontin, the brightest star in the world of gondola makers.

With his witty Venetian style and great professional competence, Roberto will guide us into this fascinating world.

We will visit his “Squero,” where gondolas and other traditional Lagoon boats (such as sandoli, pupparini, scioponi and more) are still crafted according to non-written techniques that were passed down from one generation to another.

Roberto learned from his father, Nedis, that continued to be active in the workshop him until the age of 82 – he passed away in 2005.

Nedis had a conservative approach to the art of gondola-making, and would often repeat this phrase: ‘Dear Sirs, let’s go back to the past and that will be progress!’

Nedis had inherited the activity from and his grand-father, Domenico, founder of the company and celebrated for having redesigned the gondola in 1884…

You’ll learn the reasons why it was decided to review the gondola’s traditional shape and measures, and you can still see in the workshop the actual template (still used today) readapted by Domenico Tramontin for the shaping of his ‘new’ gondolas.

Since that day, materials, measures, proportions, shape, and color of the proverbial Venetian boat are strictly agreed by the few boatyards left in the city.

You’ll learn why the bizarre asymmetrical design and why the black color. You will be surprised to hear that each gondola is customized according to the gondolier’s weight!

At the end of the lecture you can ask, of course, all the questions about the gondola that come to your mind.

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We leave Tramontin and continue our Arta & Cfrafts in Venice tour on foot to the parish of San Toma’, in the district of San Polo, to visit “Tragicomica”, one of the oldest and most renown masks’ ateliers in town.

We’ll enjoy our walk into a very attractive area of town.

Here we’ll be in the hands of Alessandra or Gualtiero, that will open their workshop for us, where, surrounded by masks of any shape and style, you’ll get acquainted with the history of the Venetian Carnival, and will be brought back to the 18th century, when Venice was an international attraction because of its theaters, music halls, gambling houses… a sort of Las Vegas, where people came to have fun and do ‘things’ which were forbidden in most of Europe!

Some of the most traditional typologies, such a the ‘moretta’, the ‘larva’ or ‘bauta’, the ‘doctor of the plague’ masks will be shown and commented.

Our expert mask-maker will then show us the different steps in the process of creating a paper-mache’ mask.

At the end of the demonstration we’ll enjoy a visit to the Tragicomica shop – it is just around the corner. The number of masks, puppets, theatrical decorations hanging from the walls and filling all the space is quite incredible, this is really a unique spot in Venice!

Our guide will walk you to the Rialto area, where you can relax after the tour.

Cost of this tour

  • This tour lasts three hours and costs 370 euros up to six people (not per person). Only private parties.
  • Fees: for both workshops min. 280 euros up to six people (not per person).
  • Due to the availability of the workshops, this itinerary does not operate on Saturdays and Sundays
  • For larger parties send us an email!