Monday, March 1, 2021

Like Walking on Water, Venetian Style: Rolando Segalin's Gondola Shoes

The witty and beautiful gondola shoes of Rolando Segalin now featured in the window of Antichità Barzaghi

If you're going to happen upon a pair of vintage hand-made gondola-shaped shoes someplace in Venice I suppose it's only appropriate that they be in the window of an antique shop located beside Venice's famous boating supply store Nikolaj (established 1923). 

The striking pair of shoes are the work of one of Venice's greatest 20th century artisans, Rolando Segalin, who died in 2014 at the age of 82, but whose atelier-- just a stone's throw from Campo San Luca and close to the Bacino Orseolo (gondola central just off Piazza San Marco)--remains the site of exquisite shoemaking, now done by his one-time apprentice  Daneila Ghezzo.

Segalin himelf is the subject of a book, Storie de un calegher, published in 2018, and the inspiration for the Premio Rolando Segalin (a poster for which, seen above, features his gondola shoes) given each year to Venice's most promising artisans. A pair of the shoes were purchased by Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum for its permanent collection.

The pair of Segalin's gondola shoes in the image at the top of this post--the most famous of a variety Segalin's creations inspired by the reintroduction of Carnevale in Venice in 1979--are in the window of the shop Antichità Barzaghi (along with a number of other beautiful non-footwear items, I should note). 

If you're interested in purchasing them you can contact the shop's proprietor, Alberto Barzaghi, at 

Segalin's gondola shoes were also featured in the above poster for an evening celebrating the life and work of the maestro, whose panel of presenters included philosopher and critic, and former mayor of Venice, Massimo Cacciari.

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful shoes - but I'd hate to try to walk in them - or even wear them to stand around in.