Destinations Magazine

Amsterdam Canals by Gondola

By Amsterdam City Tours

Amsterdam canals by gondola

With over 100 kilometers of canals, Amsterdam is known as the Venice of the north. Now, that reputation is getting another push with the efforts of one woman, Tirza Mol. She is the only gondola driver in the city, offering unrivaled trips along the canals from a gondola she built with her own hands.

Not only is the sleek, black boat the only gondola in Amsterdam, it is also one of the few created by a woman. In fact, the Venitian art is deeply rooted in male tradition, with fathers passing the skill down to each generation of sons. Only with much persuasion was Mol able to learn the trade, making her one of only a small handful of women across the globe involved.

"It is like a medieval system, one son had been working there for 25 years before he was allowed to build his first gondola," Mol told Reuters news agency. After finally finding a teacher who would break from the norm, she spent months in Venice learning the trade before bringing her boat making to Amsterdam.

Today, Mol's pioneering spirit and passion are a truly special sight along the canals. with room for up to six passengers, she navigates the labyrinth of waterways with grace and expertise. Gliding soundlessly next to the many large canal cruises that usually fill the canals, she makes for a surprising change of scenery. The only thing that's missing is a bit of a soundtrack..."O sole mio!"

Amsterdam canals by gondola

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