On June 26, Giorgia Boscolo broke into one of Italy's last male bastions: she became Venice's first official female gondolier in 900 years. Boscolo, a 23-year-old married mother of two, passed the entrance test and will soon start her apprenticeship.
Boscolo says she inherited her passion for navigating Venice's canals from her gondolier father, Dante, when she was very young: ‘I've always loved gondolas, and unlike my three sisters I preferred to punt with my father instead of going out with my friends'.
Dismissing concerns from male gondoliers over whether she had enough muscle to maneuver the 11-metre, 500-kilogramme boats, she retorted that ‘childbirth is much more difficult.'
Two other women took the same course organized by the city in 2007, but both failed to pass the tough exam. Venetian Alessandra Taddei, who belongs to the local rowing club; and German-American Alexandra Hai, who has fought for 12 years to become Venice's first female gondolier.