Authentic Ferro for purchase in Venice?

Oct 5th, 2005, 11:51 AM
  #1  
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Authentic Ferro for purchase in Venice?

Is there anywhere in Venice that you can purchase an authentic Ferro from a gondola? We bought a brass reproduction there 20 years ago, but my husband is bound and determined to find the real thing when we are visiting in November. I told him if anyone could help lead him in the right direction, this board was the place!
MercersX5 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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Go to Venezia, enjoy the ride on the Gondola (for it is after all the thing that tourists do), but don't so much as even think of trying the purchase the Ferro (nor the whole Gondola!). It is exactly this kind of 'I MUST PURCHASE' attitude that provokes such negative responses in Europe to visitors, particularly from the USA. This is a truly appalling idea that you think you can come to Europe and somehow secure 'trophies' for display at home.
hiddeneurope is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 12:12 PM
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Wow! I didn't realize that this was such an appalling idea and I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone. Why the harsh response? I think you could have explained your view a bit more diplomatically. The idea of a "trophy" never crossed my mind--I was looking for a memento.
MercersX5 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 12:12 PM
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Why don't you just walk to the gondola repair shop in the Dorsoduro area and see what you can find out there?
eliztrav is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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Well, my sincere apologies if you judged it a harsh response. I certainly didn't intend it as such. I guess that, to the European mind, such queries inevitably hint of trophy hunting. Last month, I came across a couple from California who were intent on buying an icon from a church in Slovakia. I guess I'd subscribe much more to the 'Go. Look, Talk, Give, BUT BUY NOTHING' school of tourism. That may just be a European affectation, but perhaps you'll understand why the mere idea of wanting to buy a Gondola Ferro is so alien to us.
hiddeneurope is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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Well, on the other hand, I went off googling..Authentic doesn't have to be "old"... so I found what to me is an incredible story at http://www.squero.com/gondolame.html

An earnest, dedicated, talented American building gondolas in Venice with his own squero... wonderful!
SuzieC is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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MercersX5: I saw some real ones in an antique shop in San Paolo. Unfortunately, I couldn't begin to tell you where I was--just way, way off the beaten path. I am sorry that I did not buy one.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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ira
 
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>That may just be a European affectation,....<

Or an opinion unique to the poster.

When will you guys give back the objects from Africa, Asia, the Americas, etc sitting in museums and private collections around Europe?

ira is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 02:10 PM
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Thanks for the great comments, guys! Well, we here have checked around in the spare room, the back yard and the cellar, and we simply don't seem to have a lot of objects from Asia, Africa and the Americas here. An old TWA ticket from St Louis to Houston (anyone remember TWA?), and a Mao postcard from China in the 80s, but that's about the limits of our ethnological collection. I just wanted to point out that most Venetians, and indeed most people on the planet, would find it pretty odd that you want to deprive the 'authentic' of its very authenticity by removing it to another continent. But doubtless, a Ferro displayed as trophy back home will elicit the necessary adulation from those who visit. And that's what's matters, is it not?
hiddeneurope is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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For those of us ignorant about gondolas, what, please, is a Ferro?
Underhill is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 04:15 PM
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Hello Underhill, if memory serves me right the Ferro is the iron part of the gondola which repesents the six areas of Venice. Someone correct me if I am wrong, am sure you will, LOL.
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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Yes, the ferro is the iron ornament on the front of the gondola. As I recall the six main prongs of the ferro symbolize the six sestieri and the backward facing prong symoblizes La Giudecca.

The use of the word "trophy" conjures up images of a mutiny on board whereby my family takes control of the gondola and the gondolier, tears off the ferro, hoists it into the air in victory and proudly displays it at home as evidence of our coup. Not really what I had in mind.

Thank you for the suggestions of the antique shop in San Paolo and the repair shop in Dorsoduro--much more along the lines of what I was looking for!
MercersX5 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 05:02 PM
  #13  
LJ
 
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Just when you think there is nothing new/contraversial under the sun at Fodors...
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Oct 5th, 2005, 05:15 PM
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What a bunch of baloney. Europeans have collected authentic items from all over the world, and they still do. There are individuals in both Europe and the USA who don't, but most people from anywhere will do so given the opportunity and the money.

I've been in many European homes with authentic items and antiquities proudly displayed.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 06:08 PM
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If Europeans don't want people to collect things that are authentic, why do they sell them?
marty is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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Well Mercers, just think of the international publicity you will create if you and your family pull a mutiny while enjoying a gondola ride, LOL. We here on Fodor's could brag about knowing you. I understand from my Italian friends however that if an American (assume you are) are jailed in Italy you are not put in the jail with the other Italians and Europeans. You are put in the jail with the "Non Europeans". This bit of information was given to me one day in Florence when Florentine friends decided that they would give me a "tour" of the prisons in Florence. Don't know what that was about but it was diffferent I must say. Oh, the tour was driving by the various prisons, not an "inside" tour thank heavens!

Now, if you are able to buy an authentic Ferro it will only be because an owner of one wants to sell it, right? So personally I don't see what the problem is. Best wishes to you and do have a beautiful trip. P.S. Well maybe not an owner on second thought..maybe someone who "hijacked" a gondola and stole the Ferro. Thanks for the fun thread!
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 8th, 2005, 10:44 AM
  #17  
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My thanks to everyone for your kind words and help with my search. After the initial attack from hiddeneurope, I was afraid I had offended an entire continent. You all have been so helpful in the planning of my family's trip next month. We leave 5 weeks from today (!!!!), so I'm sure I'll be back with more last minute questions. You're the best!
MercersX5 is offline  

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