The Venetian slippers that for years accompanied the gondoliers in their work on the waters of Venice are back under a different light. The refined materials and details of modern Venetian slippers reflect and honour the famous gondoliers of yesteryear.
From gondola shoe to chic shoe
In times long past, Friulian families working in the countryside of the 19th century used to wear comfortable shoes even on special occasions, such as Sunday mass and weddings. These shoes, called 'friulane', were made of waste materials and were worn by children, men and women, as they represented an elegant and formal alternative to work clogs. They guaranteed elegance and comfort.
Friulane shoes are also known as 'Venetian slippers' because, in the early post-war period, they landed in Venice thanks to a visionary Friulian family who recognised the potential of these shoes in the streets of the Serenissima. Soon Friulane shoes became the favourite craft shoes of gondoliers because of the non-slip sole that guaranteed safety and stability and the upper material that did not damage the gondolas.
Today, Venetian slippers are produced with high quality materials: from work shoes, they have become an icon of Made in Italy fashion. Attention to detail and refined design link tradition and modernity in a shoe that is a symbol of the Italian Dolce Vita.
Gondoliers and Venetian Slippers
Venetian gondoliers wore these famous slippers during their work shifts because they did not hinder movement and, at the same time, guaranteed stability. The soles were made from waste material: they often used bicycle tyres that helped to weld the gondoliers' feet to the boat.
The cotton and other materials from which Venetian slippers were made enabled the gondoliers to preserve the dark, waterproof paint of the gondolas from wear and tear. The colours used to stitch and join the sole to the upper were enhanced by the boat itself, so dark and elegant. These reasons justify why the skilled navigators of the Venetian canals felt safer wearing the Friulane. It can be said, therefore, that the Friulane contributed to the iconic look of Venetian gondoliers.
Are you looking for handmade Venetian slippers?
The iconic footwear of the gondoliers is now revisited in a more sophisticated, elegant and green key. Azaleri offers a wide range of Venetian slippers for women and men, the result of the manufacturing experience of skilled Italian craftsmen. Each shoe is an authentic tribute to the history and tradition of which these shoes are the highest expression.