close up of bow of gondola boat
Pettine or ferro di prua, also called “fero da pròra” or “dolfin”, which has the purpose of protecting the bow from possible collisions and to balance the weight of the gondolier. Its weight varies from 10 kg up depending on the metal used. The shape of a ‘S’ should simulate the performance of the Grand Canal. Under the main blade has a comb made of 6 tines (prongs) that resemble the 6 districts in which Venice is divided. A kind of tooth that extends back toward the center of the gondola indicates the Giudecca and the “Doge’s hat” the headband over the top of the tooth comb, represents the Rialto Bridge. In the most recent gondolas, there are also 3 finishes, such as embroidery, called “leaves” and placed between the front and 6 bars that represent the 3 most important islands of the Venetian lagoon: Murano, Burano and Torcello.