Venice is known in part for the gondolas, traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boats, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian lagoon.
For centuries, the gondola was a major means of transportation and the most common watercraft within Venice. In modern times, the boats still do have a role in public transport in the city, serving as traghetti (small ferries) over the Grand Canal operated by two oarsmen.
The Venetian gondoliers announced they have reduced passenger seating from six to five on the smaller gondola da nolo and from 14 to 12 on the larger gondola da parade, which is often used to sail the Grand Canal.
“It’s true that compared to 10 or 15 years ago, tourists weigh a bit more Venice’s gondoliers’ association president Andrea Balbi told The Guardian. “Unlike in a lift, where there’s a message that says only six people or a maximum weight, we don’t have scales to weigh people, and so we reduced the number of passengers.”