The Gondola Maker

A Novel of Renaissance Venice

The Gondola Maker by Laura Morelli

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In 16th-century Venice, the heir to a family boatyard rejects his destiny but is drawn to restore an old gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride.


IPPY Award for Best Adult Fiction E-book

IBPA Benjamin Franklin Digital Award

Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award

Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award

Shortlisted for the da Vinci Eye Prize


Sixteenth-century Venice is the star of Laura Morelli’s well-crafted historical novel about the heir to the city’s most renowned gondola builder.

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

The heir to a gondola empire rejects his birthright in this fascinating glimpse into Renaissance Venice.
–Kirkus Indie Book of the Month

I’m a big fan of Venice, so I appreciate Laura Morelli’s special knowledge of the city, the period, and the process of gondola-making. An especially compelling story.
–Frances Mayes, author, Under the Tuscan Sun

Laura Morelli has done her research, or perhaps she was an Italian carpenter in another life. One can literally smell and feel the grain of finely turned wood in her hands.
–Pamela Sheldon Johns, author, Italian Food Artisans

Historical fiction at its best.
Midwest Book Review



Download a sample chapter of The Gondola Maker.

View the book trailer on YouTube

View Laura’s author page on amazon.

From the author of Made in Italy comes a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world’s most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.

When Luca Vianello, the heir to a renowned gondola-making enterprise, experiences an unexpected tragedy in the boatyard, he believes that his destiny lies elsewhere. Soon he finds himself drawn to restore an antique gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride. Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship, along with an intimate first-person narrative set against the richly textured backdrop of 16th-century Venice.

12 thoughts on “The Gondola Maker

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