July 16, 2009

Female gondolier starts apprenticeship

The first woman to pass the entry exam for gondolier training in Venice, Italy, has begun ferrying passengers as an apprentice.

Giorgia Boscolo, 23, passed the entry exam to the gondolier course, which was introduced by the Venice City Council in 2007, and now must complete her apprenticeship and pass a final exam to become a full-fledged member of the profession, the ANSA news agency reported Thursday.

Boscolo, wearing the traditional uniform of a white-and-blue striped shirt, black pants and matching shoes, ferried her first Venice residents Thursday on the Grand Canal under supervision from a licensed gondolier.

''On board there are curious passengers, but above all there's the happiness of someone doing a job she always dreamed of,'' Boscolo said. She said she inherited her love of gondolas from her gondolier father.

''I've always loved gondolas, and unlike my three sisters I preferred to punt with my father instead of going out with my friends,'' she said.

Two other woman took the entry exam with Boscolo, but she was the only one of the trio to pass.