29 Jul 2016

Squero di San Trovaso boat yard - The Gondola boat chase

During the gondola chase in Moonraker, Bond is quietly "gondoling" down the canals of Venice when he gets interrupted by a couple of assassins, who kill his gondolier Franco. Bond's gondola is however equipped with an engine, which enables him to escape and the boat chase through Venice begins. The entire gondola chase was filmed on several areas in Venice and there are several continuity errors if you know all the locations. Several more or less well-known sights are seen in the background during the chase.

Early on in the chase, Bond passes a boat yard, where gondolas are being made or renovated. This gondola boat yard is called Squero di San Trovaso, and is the oldest in Venice. After passing the boat yard, Bond then continues down Rio de San Trovaso, which ultimately ends up in the Grand Canal, and the two henchmen turn left into Rio del Ognissanti.

The henchmen turn left as Bond continues down Rio de S. Trovaso

In Venice today, there are about 400 active gondolas. This can be compared with the 16th and 17th centuries when there were around 10.000. Gondola construction and repairs are still supplied by a handful of boatyards (called squeri) in Venice and the Venetian Lagoon, and Bond thus passes the oldest. This is not an attraction open for tourists however, so you should enjoy this location from the other side of the canal, the same place where the camera was placed in the film.

The  Squero di San Trovaso boat yard seen briefly in the film was opened in the 17th century and is located in the southern part of Dorsoduro, which is one of the six sestieri (districts) in Venice. This location is actually quite close to both Ca' Rezzonico (the location of Drax's office) and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, where one of the final scenes in From Russia With Love was filmed.

Rio de San Trovaso 

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