Author: Carl

Giovanni Carini, Sr., the first boatman to tie a dock

Giovanni Carini, Sr., the first boatman to tie a dock

In Venice, a Young Boatman Steers a Course of His Own

When he is off duty, Giovanni Carini works on the canal. But that didn’t keep him from trying to reach a record of sorts — he was the first to pull a boat up through a series of locks. In an interview with the New York Times, he says he does it for the fun of it.

“It’s the same reason we go skiing and snowboarding, to make new friends out of people we would never have met otherwise,” he says. “In Venice, by the way, you get to see the city’s real beauty. There’s nothing like it. And for me, as a boatman, to be able to see something like a lagoon, a canal, with all its boats, and to be able to do it as my own way shows what an adventure it is.”

Born in Tuscany, Italy, Carini is one of the few people on earth who can tie a boat to a dock. His father did it all by hand, and his grandfather, Giovanni Carini, Sr., was instrumental in opening America’s first water taxi company, the Puntanella Transportation Company. It was his father, a professional musician and organist, who inspired him to learn to tie a boat to its dock in his own way.

He’d also become a skier. In fact, his first job was as a deckhand at a ski resort on Mount Rosa in Tuscany. But he soon realized that the work would never be enough for him. He wanted to do something more: “I was working on the slope of a mountain, and I was in love with the idea that, one day, I’d go to the sea and get a boat.”

He first tried it in 1971, when he made it from Florence to Livorno, across the Adriatic, and up through the Strait of Gibraltar, the narrowest part of the sea

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