Venice by Alessio Boschi

 

Oh, Venice, you are my affection. I saw you and fell in love at once

If you ask anyone to name five most romantic words, among them you would probably here “Venice” – a mystical and beautiful city of lovers, built on canals. It consists of 118 islands, connected by 400 bridges. By a twist of fate Venice and water became inseparable, whereas gondoliers got one of the most romantic jobs.

“Oh, it was so romantic!” recalls Maribel with a smile. “I came to Venice as a tourist. I was walking down the streets and lost track of time, so I asked a handsome gondolier what time it was. And he answered: “It is time for love.” Well, I didn’t get confused, and replied, “I’m ready!” (“Vokrug sveta” journal, July 2013)

In Venice a person can become a gondolier only by birth, because this is purely men’s job, which is inherited from father to son – just as the royal title was transferred in the early days. All gondoliers are native Venetians, so it is absolutely impossible for a stranger to get to their number.

The legend says, “A long time ago two young lovers couldn’t find a place in the streets of Venice to stay privately away from prying eyes. The moon filled with compassion for their love and came down to the water of canals in the form of a shining gondola. The couple got on the boat and were sailing all night long, enjoying their youth and love…”

That is how gondolas became boats of lovers, and Venice transformed into the city of love.

Now let’s have a look at the structure of a gondola. Have you ever paid attention to its fore body? If not, then take a closer look at an iron cap, made as a comb, which Venetians call “ferro”. Ferro doesn’t only protect the fore of the boat, but also symbolizes Venice itself. A big curvy plate resembles a hat of Venetian doge, while six horizontal teeth represent six historical districts of the city. A half-round hollow just below the plate reminds a curve of the Rialto Bridge, and a long metal line, which strengthens the decoration on the fore body, resembles a contour of the Grand Canal.

Just imagine how much artistry, patience and dedication is needed to replicate precisely all the details in a piece of jewellery! Check! We found it completely accurate.

The structure of a gondola
 
The sketches of Alessio Boschi Gondola ring made of rose gold with tanzanite, sapphires and Paraiba tourmaline

Alessio Boschi Gondola ring is made of rose gold and set with tanzanite. Sapphires reflect all the shades of the lagoon, while the water is made of Paraiba tourmalines. Inside the ring a gondolier is sailing on his boat. Two horses with little chains are very important here, as they give the impression of a moving boat.

Alessio Boschi Gondola ring made of rose gold with tanzanite, sapphires and Paraiba tourmaline

And these are the earrings. 

Alessio Boschi Gondola earrings in gold with spinels, emeralds, Akoya pears and imperial topaz

One earring features the Rialto Bridge with black spinels and emeralds. Below you see baby yellow golden Akoya pearls, which are quite rear, and imperial topaz on the top. On the other earring we have a gondolier on a boat, who’ll take us to one of the oldest and the most famous Venetian bridges – the Bridge of Sighs. 

 

Alessio Boschi the Bridge of Sighs ring

– Actually, today the Bridge of Sighs has a romantic message: you sail on a gondola with your lover, kiss under the Bridge of Sighs, and your love will never die. But the real story of the Bridge of Sighs is not so happy, because it's a bridge of justice. It connects the Doge Palace, that was a courthouse about 400 years ago, to the prison. Prisoners were escorted through it after sentencing, and in their minds they bid farewell to freedom and sighed heavily. Therefore, on this ring you see the judge, sitting on the throne, and all the satiric faces. I made a ring that reproduces completely the bridge with baguette cut diamonds as well as hand engraved faces.

– Where are the faces?

You have to look with a loop to see all the little faces here. You can even notice the arches, left and right, so the design is taken exactly from the bottom part of the bridge.

When you open the ring, you see the Italian drama. A beautiful lady in a typical Venetian dress is standing there full of despair, because her husband is being taken by the guard: he's been judged and convoyed to the prison. The husband is ashamed of what he did. The guard is protecting him with a spear. You can see all the details here. The scene is quite painful for the woman because she's losing her husband, but the message of this ring is the importance and respect of the law in society. And when you close the ring, you discover a very important scene in the gate of the Doge Palace: the lion of St. Marco that has one of its feet on the law book, and Doge Foscari – the member of the most important doge family of Venice, looking at the republic. You can also find the inscription here, saying “justice”.

I’ve chosen purple spinel as the main gemstone, because purple is the color of aristocracy. So we are not talking about judging commoners here. We are referring to Venetian aristocracy, as Venice was one of the most important cities of that period, controlling the Mediterranean.

– It looks more like a men's ring.

Because it is architectonical, and the corners are quite sharp. However, I had amazing response, so it also depends on the taste…

Alessio Boschi the Bridge of Sighs ring with purple spinel and diamonds
 

In the next article we are meeting in Pisa. See you soon!
Alessio Boschi
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Tatyana Pfaifer

The founder of Jewellery Masterpiece