"In the summertime, when school was over, me, mum and dad would leave Moltrasio at 7 am with the Tivano and we would go to Torno or como. It was lovely and I had lots of friends like Mario Barindelli, and then there were the boatmen from Carate, Argegno, Colonno...we were all friends and we would spend the
Then since I was the youngest, the men would go off on business and I would keep an eye on the boats. We would load up the boat and then leave at one o’clock in the afternoon with the Breva behind us to head back to Moltrasio.
I remember that there were always four demijohns tied to the benches and in the middle of the boat we would put paper, flour for the baker in Torno, bran, water and beer for the hotels. In Pognana there was an ironmonger’s and every now and then they needed charcoal and we would bring it with the Moltrasina. We would carry up to 80 quintals.
Once we had just left Como, it had been raining, and my dad slipped and fell into the water. Giancarlo Fumagalli and Mario Barindelli saved him.
This gondola was built in 1923 for the boatman Giuseppe Vanini, more commonly known as Sbrisiga.
Around the year 1930, now an old man, he took on Giacomo Sala, a young man from Bellagio, who was a fisherman and promising rower.
In 1941 he left him the gondola and the business. Giacomo Sala, together with his wife Lisetta and their daughter Pia, carried on the transport business with love and devotion. The recollections of Pia are an extraordinary testimony which we guard jealously. The family business ceased in November 1952, when Giacomo, who had just turned fifty, died suddenly, and it was too much for Lisetta and their fifteen-year old daughter Pia. They were forced to sell the Moltrasina and find jobs in a factory.
This gondola, with its hull made of chestnut and larch and its powerful oak rudder, is one of the five remaining gondolas, and the only one where the planking is still visible and not coated in resin.