Venice's First Lady Gondolier Makes a Splash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2009 5:17 AM CDT
Giorgia Boscolo, the first woman gondolier in Venetian history, pilots her gondola, Boscolo is the first woman ever to pass the notoriously tough gondolier's exam.   (AFP/Getty Images)

(Newser) – A 23-year-old mother of two has overcome a grueling entrance exam and 900 years of taboos to become the first female gondolier in Venetian history, the Los Angeles Times reports. Giorgia Boscolo's entry into the profession has caused waves among the city's close-knit fraternity of gondoliers, with some fearing she is seeking to exploit her newfound celebrity.

"The honor and history of the gondoliers cannot be commercialized, not even if we're talking about the first woman to be authorized to take up an oar", warned the president of the gondolier's guild. Bolosco, daughter of a gondolier, says she just wants to carry on the family trade. "I was born among gondoliers," she explained. "It's the only job I've ever wanted."