One of the world's oldest gondolas is now on display at The Venetian/The Palazzo on the famous Las Vegas Strip.
The historic gondola, thought to be constructed around 1850, is considered by experts to be one of the best surviving examples of Venetian gondolas from that time period. The impressive specimen spans 36 feet and is nearly 5 feet wide.
“The gondola is the icon of Venice, and some argue the most recognizable boat in the world,” said George Markantonis, president and chief operating officer of The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo. “We have a piece of history on display – one of the oldest gondolas in the world – for our guests to discover while exploring our resort.”
The vessel’s elaborate wood carvings indicate that this gondola was likely used for weddings and special occasions. The gondola was purchased from former Nevada Lt. Gov. Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, who is well known for his eclectic collection of unique and historical objects.
Hammargren purchased the gondola from William Harrah, who had displayed it alongside his historic vehicle collection in Reno and Lake Tahoe.
The only other historic Venetian gondola on display in the United States is at the Maritime Museum in Newport News, Virginia. The gondola, very similar in age and form but in lesser condition, is promoted as one of the oldest gondolas in the world.
Each year more than half a million guests experience a gondola ride at The Venetian Las Vegas on one of the resort’s replica gondolas.