The famous black gondolas ply the canals of Venice, complete with their blue tarps. The Venetian Doge centuries ago grew tired of the over-decorated gondolas everyone had and decreed that they all be painted black. This is an unusual view of them from one of the many bridges in the watery city.
The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian lagoon. It is similar to a canoe, except it is narrower. It is propelled by a gondolier, who uses a rowing oar, which is not fastened to the hull, in a sculling manner and acts as the rudder.