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Pictures | Wed Oct 23, 2013 | 2:30pm BST

Building Venice's gondolas

<p>Lorenzo Della Toffola works on a gondola in the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero" in Venice October 14, 2013. The sleek black gondolas that whisper through Venice bear the hallmarks of a tiny but proud group of artisans striving to keep alive the traditional building methods for the floating city's most recognizable symbol. Each steered by a lone gondolier in a striped shirt and straw hat, the slender luxury vehicles offer a romantic setting for a serene cruise and, not uncommonly, a proposal of marriage.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

Lorenzo Della Toffola works on a gondola in the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero" in Venice October 14, 2013. The sleek black gondolas that whisper through Venice bear the hallmarks of a tiny but proud group of artisans striving to keep alive...more

Lorenzo Della Toffola works on a gondola in the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero" in Venice October 14, 2013. The sleek black gondolas that whisper through Venice bear the hallmarks of a tiny but proud group of artisans striving to keep alive the traditional building methods for the floating city's most recognizable symbol. Each steered by a lone gondolier in a striped shirt and straw hat, the slender luxury vehicles offer a romantic setting for a serene cruise and, not uncommonly, a proposal of marriage. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>A gondolier holds an oar of his gondola at the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini  (</p>

A gondolier holds an oar of his gondola at the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini (

A gondolier holds an oar of his gondola at the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini (

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<p>A hammer hangs on the frame of a new gondola at the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero" in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

A hammer hangs on the frame of a new gondola at the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero" in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

A hammer hangs on the frame of a new gondola at the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero" in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>A worker cleans a gondola in the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero" in Venice October 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

A worker cleans a gondola in the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero" in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

A worker cleans a gondola in the San Trovaso boatyard known as a "squero" in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>A gondolier removes his items from a gondola before it undergoes maintenance at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

A gondolier removes his items from a gondola before it undergoes maintenance at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

A gondolier removes his items from a gondola before it undergoes maintenance at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>Workers carry a gondola for maintenance at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

Workers carry a gondola for maintenance at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Workers carry a gondola for maintenance at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>A gondolier rows in a canal near St. Mark's Square in Venice October 13, 2013.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

A gondolier rows in a canal near St. Mark's Square in Venice October 13, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

A gondolier rows in a canal near St. Mark's Square in Venice October 13, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>A worker cleans a gondola at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

A worker cleans a gondola at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

A worker cleans a gondola at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>A worker prepares a gondola as it undergoes maintenance at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

A worker prepares a gondola as it undergoes maintenance at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

A worker prepares a gondola as it undergoes maintenance at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>Part of a gondola is seen at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013.   REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

Part of a gondola is seen at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Part of a gondola is seen at the San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>A gondolier rows in a canal near St. Mark's Square in Venice October 13, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

A gondolier rows in a canal near St. Mark's Square in Venice October 13, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

A gondolier rows in a canal near St. Mark's Square in Venice October 13, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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<p>The hats of Venetian gondoliers hang on a wall outside San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>

The hats of Venetian gondoliers hang on a wall outside San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

The hats of Venetian gondoliers hang on a wall outside San Trovaso boatyard, also known as a "squero", in Venice October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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