Gilberto Penzo

Expert in traditional Adriatic shipbuilding

Gilberto Penzo was born in Chioggia, in the province of Venice in 1954, where his maternal family had a shipyard that built every type of loca boat: sandoli, batei in pisso, bragossi, trabaccoli, but also large motorboats, yachts and fast rowing boats. His father was a naval mechanic with a workshop, also in Chioggia, for installing and repairing the engines of fishing boats. The nautical world immediately entered his blood, with its beauty and hardness, with its pragmatism; but above all he has assimilated the taste of doing, not of executing, of course, but that of thinking about a project or a solution to a problem and carrying it out with your own hands, without intermediate steps, without downtime and unnecessary chatter. In these years of activity he has tried, completely independently, to combine practical knowledge with theoretical knowledge, and to give dignity to a world seen, in the best cases, only as a folkloric backdrop. His goal is to save the last traditional boats and the memory of the techniques that generated them. By recording this world, now disappeared, in his books that would like to be only practical manuals to answer, not already to learned historical questions, but to simple and arduous questions, which now only children can do: how is it done inside? How does it work? How can he build it?

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