Venetian Squero

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Venetian squero
the typical rowing boatyard
Venetian Squero San Trovaso

The “squero” is the typical rowing boatyard of the city of Venice. Originally it was generically referred to as the shipyard for the construction, maintenance and shelter of boats of all sizes, both rowing and sailing, ranging from small “sandoeti” to large war galleys. With the centralization of shipbuilding activities for large military and merchant ships in the Arsenale, the squero specialized on the smaller boats for private use.

Being Venice a city inextricably linked to water and therefore to boats for the transport of people and objects, the squero has an ancient tradition. “Boat is home” was said for centuries in Venice.

At the time of the Republic of Venice squeri (plural of squero) were widespread throughout the city. Over the years many squeri have disappeared and others have been transformed due to the significant decrease in the use of rowing boats. The crisis of the sector, which seems not to affect only the historical squeri of the city, is linked to several complex factors such as the lack of space, the high age of the most titled masters, the high cost of repairs and woodworking, the small number of specialized workers and the legislation that hinders the activity of the “squeraroli”, the squero workers.

The activity of the squeri still present in the city is mainly related to the gondola and partly to the other rowing and sailing boats typical of the Venice lagoon. Currently only six squeri have survived: one in Castello (San Giuseppe), two in Giudecca (Crea and Costantini-Dei Rossi) and three in Dorsoduro (Tramontin, Bonaldo and San Trovaso). The latter is one of the oldest and most famous Venetian squeri. It is possible to organize guided tours inside the San Trovaso squero during which the characteristics of the gondola and the working techniques will be illustrated. 

In addition to the mentioned squeri, there are other smaller shipyards in the city, where the activity is limited to small repairs and shelter of boats.

Location: Squero San Trovaso 

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