Gondolier drops by on river voyage to honour Shakespeare
AN Italian man paddled a gondola through Henley as part of a 210-mile journey from Stratford-upon-Avon to Little
AN Italian man paddled a gondola through Henley as part of a 210-mile journey from Stratford-upon-Avon to Little Venice in London.
Maurizio Ulliana, who had flown from Padua, undertook the voyage to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.
Several of the playwright’s works are set in or around Venice, where gondolas are a tradition. They are also a popular attraction in Stratford, where Shakespeare was born in 1564.
Mr Ulliana, 55, is president of an Italian society which restores classic boats.
After arriving in Henley, he stayed overnight at Leander Club and moored his 11m gondola Marisa Cristiano, which is 30 years old and was on loan from a collector in Oxford, at the club’s pontoon next to Henley Bridge.
The following morning he visited the River & Rowing Museum before heading on to the capital.
Mr Ulliana, who is now back in Padua, said: “The weather conditions in Henley were pretty good though there were gusts of wind and it was quite hard to get anywhere. I was honoured to stay at Leander Club and thought the accommodation was lovely. The museum was beautiful and I enjoyed reading all about the history of rowing.
“People were really interested in what I was doing as I paddled along by the towpath. They took lots of photographs and wanted me to stop for a chat.”
Mr Ulliana rowed for a total of 105 hours and passed through 179 locks.