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Although I can truly understand the pasion for Venice, not to have ventured south of Rome is truly to miss out - like the Amalfi coast with Amalfi and its amazing cathedral, Atrani its tiny neighbour and the mountain villages of Scala and Ravello with its beautiful villas and gardens....so much to explore - forget Naples!

No, no, of course you're right. I'm certainly not suggesting that it's a GOOD thing to be stuck as I am. I'm sure I'll get down there ultimately.

But not so far.



With no disrespect to Rome, London, Hong Kong, Toronto (my home city) or any other city in the world, they are all similar. Venice on the other hand is unique. I have been to the other so called Venices; Leningrad, Amsterdam and Venice Beach California, but they are like comparing a Cessna with the Concorde.

The time I spend in Venice is so precious, I can't imagine going anywhere else.


Late reply;

Norman, I had a similar surprised reaction to hearing Thom Price, the expatriated American gondola maker in Venice, answer my question of how often he has traveled Europe from his Venetian base with 'Never!".

I do think I now understand this outlook or lack of one better. In fact my most important life's goal is to experience this first hand, and/or make such available in the States.

Did you speak with Thom? I sent him an email some time ago, but he never answered. Oh well.

I don't want to leave the impression I haven't traveled a ton. I have ... Africa, Asia, Central America, all across North America, Oceania, Western and Eastern Europe. But for some reason, never south of Rome within Italy. My wife thinks I need therapy.


So sorry for such late responses; I guess you get a notification.

I bought two gondolas from Thom. so I have some history with him. He was in today's USA Today! Though I'm sure he's most proud of his NY Times story, I sure would be, with a nice color photo a couple of years back I think.

Certainly would look him up, even check on working at his shop if they thought I would be useful, when back in Venice.

The writer of the story, Laura Bly, is a Veniceblog reader. I was in touch with her before the article broke ... did some fact checking on the draft ... background stuff ... nothing major ... hoped to get a link, but it doesn't look like it's gonna happen.


The article let you know how much Thom charges for a quick visit to his squero/shop. And I think it mentions that he does Venice tours as well, whichg he does. And given USA Today's demographics, people on vacation or on business trips with travel on their minds the article was free advertising for him, even better in that regard than the Times article, though the Times reference looks great on his website. Has Thom visited your blog? Seems like he'd like it and would put a link to your Blog on his site. For what its worth, I'm going to link to this blog on my forthcoming carfreeOption.org if you don't mind.


Well, I did a posting on Thom a while back. I emailed him to alert him to the post and asked a few questions, but never heard back. Nothing. So if you can drag him into the blog, great.

Link away, by the way, it'd be an honor.


I just found your blog (while searching for a spritz recipe). Great stuff. Makes me want to go back to Venice--immediately (even if it is flooding).

When I was in Venice this year for Carnival, I was fortunate to spend a few hours with Thom Price. He showed up the gondola-building process and patiently answered questions. A guide, Alvise Zanchi, from Venice ala Carte (www.tourvenice.org/) arranged it. We also spent time with the manager of one of Venice's rowing clubs and got a great tour of the entire facility--including the trophy room. If interested, I can send along a photo or two. (My website has a few photos of St. Mark's underwater.) I'm not sure if Alvise is still doing tours, but if he is, he's a great resource.

And, in the spirit of this thread, in all my visits to Italy, I've never gotten beyond Rome, either. I keep vowing to go south, but it never happens!

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