The most famous and characteristic symbol of Venice is the Gondola. This boat represents a typical Venetian Gondola circa 1882. The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian lagoon. For centuries gondolas were the chief means of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice. In modern times the iconic boats still have a role in public transport in the city, serving as traghetti (ferries) over the Grand Canal. They are also used in special regattas (rowing races) held amongst gondoliers. The gondola is propelled like punting, except an oar is used instead of a pole. The model now is rebuilt without the roof in the middle of the boat and used to carry tourists along the Venice River in Italy.