Gondolas are iconic in Venice and I must admit they really look cool. When I got home I Googled them and learned a lot of interesting stuff. They must be painted black (per a law passed hundreds of years ago). They are 35 feet long and weigh 1500 lbs. They are flat bottomed and slightly asymmetrical. A gondola is rowed (not punted) with a single oar. The strange curvy piece of wood next to the oar is the oarlock. The prow of a gondola is a standard shape. The curved top is said to represent a doge's cap and the six horizontal strips (like the teeth of a comb) represent the six districts of Venice.