The waterways in Venice are filled with gondolas, flat-bottomed rowing boats. They are also crowded with water taxis and water buses. The gondolas used to be the main mode of transportation to get around the islands. It was estimated that there were thousands of gondolas during the 17th & 18th century. Now there are a couple hundred gondolas that are primarily used for taking the tourists around.
The gondoliers are the guys wearing the striped t-shirt and black pants, paddling the gondola through the canals. It was amazing to see how the gondoliers maneuvered through the Grand Canal, having to move out of the way for the water buses and taxis. We didn’t take our own gondola ride, as we mostly just enjoyed seeing them from the water buses and the land. A very sad accident occurred on Saturday with one of the gondolas. A German family (parents & 3 kids) was in a Gondola and somehow the gondola and a water bus collided. The family and the gondolier were thrown from the gondola into the water, due to the force of the crash. The father died due to head injuries and the 3 year old was hospitalized. What a sad and unexpected thing to happen. There are a few news articles on the Internet that mention the accident and how busy the waterways in Venice are and how they can improve upon the water traffic congestion.