Female gondolier turns Venice tide

Venice is on its way to having its first official female gondolier.

Giorgia Boscolo, 24, who has two children, has passed the practical exam, the city's authorities said yesterday. She is the first woman to pass this test, considered the most difficult of those required to pilot a boat on Venice's canals. She must now pass one further multiple-choice exam before being able to join the guild of official gondoliers.

Sandro Simionato, the city's deputy mayor, said her success would break "900 years of male dominance" in the profession.