< Back to Gondoliers page

Russell "Rosario" Venditto

"The Idea Man"

Rosario lends a certain credibility to La Gondola Providence; he is, after all, one of only three gondoliers with any Italian blood at all! A Rhode Island native, he spent three years studying Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His final year as a college student was spent training as a wilderness guide in the woods of New Hampshire and Maine during the fall, and ended with a semester abroad in Cádiz, Spain. In autumn of that year, on the Saco River, Rosario learned the nearly-lost art of canoe poling - which, to his future surprise, was completely non-transferable to rowing a gondola.

During the off-season, Rosario works tirelessly to instill his passion for foreign language into the students at Chariho High School. He lives in Providence, just minutes away from the dock, ready to jump into stripes at any time, should a gondolier be required in an emergency.   

I find the camaraderie and the working environment at La Gondola Providence to be second to none. Every time I take a trip out, I think to myself, ‘It is amazing, what we do.’
— Rosario
Photo Credit: Vicki Jauron

Photo Credit: Vicki Jauron

Providence gondoliers: closer, cheaper, more polite, and better-looking than our Venetian counterparts.
— Rosario
}