Dreams of Venice inevitably provoke images of gondolas gliding along water. It’s unlikely that these dreams include the practicalities of rowing in Venice. I encourage you to ask your Gondolier these questions.
You might ask the oarlock maker too. Visit charming and talented Franco Furlanetto’s Forcole workshop in the San Polo district.
Signor Furlanetto is one of the few remaining forcole makers in the city. Sadly, less than a handful of forcole carvers remain on the island. These men, four to be exact, carry on the tradition of finely crafted functional objects. These highly skilled craftsmen sculpt forcole/oarlocks and remi/oars to order for the city’s gondoliers and Venetian rowers.
While visiting the islands, take time to discover the variety of rowing boats indicative to the unique urban design of our waterways.
Much like the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, selecting his Carrara marble in person. Franco Furlanetto heads to the mainland to personally select appropriate woods for seasoning and sculpting his works. A competitive rower himself, the workshop is filled with photos of rowing events.
Each object carved in this studio, while completely functional, is also a coveted original work of art. Craftsman-cum-fine artist. Franco Furlanetto’s work can be found in private and museum collections worldwide.
Find in this spot a handful of small carved objects for sale, far superior to the plastic souvenirs littering our streets. Please support our local artisans!