Grit and Grazia: A Story of Venice, Voga, and a Few Unwavering Women

A documentary project of Living Venice e VIVA


Posted on | October 4, 2008 | No Comments

arzanà22.jpgArzanà  is the term Dante used in the Inferno when referring to an arsenale (a word that’s Venetian by origin). This Arzanà , however, is the name chosen by unique cultural association whose passionate members scavenge Venice for boats and boat-related objects that are either in danger of either going to ruin or simply slipping into oblivion. These items are instead confiscated, conserved, cataloged, and otherwise rescued for posterity, and whenever possible, put back to use a vogar.

Located in the historic Squero Casal dei Servi in Cannaregio, Arzanà  recently hosted a presentation in collaboration with the gondola artisans, El Felze. Members Germano da Preda and Giovanni Caniato painstakingly recounted the squero‘s prestigious history with original photos of the owner-family and the variety of traditional boats they constructed; That was followed by a tour of the facility itself, which is jam-packed (in quite an orderly way) with everything from scale models to boats and boat parts to tools and implements used in both boat construction and even in lagoon’s the hunting and fishing tradition.

arzanà28.jpgSome of the more fascinating examples include the wonderful gondola al fresco, perhaps the last in existence, and there’s a spendidly-carved, original felze from the mid 1800s (along with the one that was constructed for use in the film Casanova).

Anzanà  and its devoted members, along with their contributions to many publications on the naval traditions, are forming a large part of the research base of the voga documentary project.


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