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First female gondolier for Venice

In a move that has resulted in some criticism from Venetian traditionalists, the mayor of Venice has lent his support to the hiring of the first ever female gondolier in nine hundred years, the Daily Mail reports.

Giorgia Boscolo, 24, will be able to follow in her father's footsteps since passing her exams - based on knowledge of sailing, and of Venice's landmarks and water-ways - to become a gondolier. However, she will only be able to stand-in for one of her male colleagues, should he need the day off.

Venice's mayor, Giorgio Orsino, commented that there was a high level of machismo within the gondolier's guild in Venice but he hoped this appointment would encourage others to follow in the mother-of-two's footsteps:

'I'm delighted with Giorgia's achievement and I'm sure that following on from her example other women will pick up the coveted oar of a gondola.'

Despite some reservations voiced by Venetian men, including Giorgia's own father, many have congratulated Giorgia on achieving her ambition. To those that remark that she might not be able to steer the heavy boats, she simply replies: 'child-birth is much more difficult.'

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