A TED-Ed Animation Exploring the Strange and Seedy History of the Venetian Gondola

“Corruption, Wealth and Beauty” is a TED-Ed animation by educator Laura Morelli and animator Andrew Foerster that examines the fascinating and somewhat troubled history of the gondolas that populate the canals of Venice.

The origins of the Venetian gondola are lost to history, but by the 1500s, some 10,000 gondolas transported dignitaries, merchants and goods through the city’s canals. In fact, Venice teamed with many types of handmade boats, from utilitarian rafts to the doge’s own ostentatious guilded barge.