Gig Harbor, Wash. — Far from the canals of Venice you may hear “Sul mare luccica, l'astro d'argento”, sung by a gondolier in the sheltered cove of Gig Harbor.
It's the voice of John Synco, who takes clients on romantic cruises aboard his 36 foot long, thousand pound Venetian gondola, Nelly.
“People just fall in love with Nelly the gondola here,” Synco said. “It's really a break from the hustle and bustle of being on land. When you're in the gondola everything slows down."
Synco first became a gondolier in Southern California years ago. In 2004, he visited Venice for the first time.
“And I realized there was so much more to learn, and that's where the obsession kind of began,” Synco said. “It's a weird skill to have in America, and I didn't want to lose it, and I figured why not just start a business and then I'd be able to row all the time.”
Synco looked around and decided Gig Harbor offered the smoothest water and best neighbors.
“I'm really trying to get used to the people coming out of their very expensive looking yachts, and they admire my boat,” he said with a laugh.
It's all new to Gig Harbor, but Synco plans to stay around and make memories for as many people as he can.
“I want to grow old on the back of the gondola here and just keep going and keep growing,” Synco said.
And with that, he finishes his song.