• Gondola
  • Batea a coa de gambero
  • Vipera
  • Batea concordiese
  • Gondola
  • Mascareta
  • Sandolo buranelo
  • Gondola
  • Renaissance Gondola
  • Topa

Even if known as a support board of the tartana, the topo had its own identity since it was used for fishing and carrying goods.

The existence of this kind of boat has been reported since 1348 when Sinisio described it as “navis lata sine carina” and we can assume it originated in the Venetian lagoon area.

Later it became more important and its dimensions and shape developed according to the place it was constructed and for which purpose.

Its hull usually measured from 6 to 11 mt, it had a partial deck up to 8 mt boats and a complete deck in the longer ones.

It had a flat boot and elegant shapes particularly for the bow, with a rather rounded stern and a big helm (called timone a calumo), with oar-forks and oars (from 2 to 4), to be able to row also in the Venetian way.

This kind of boats, till 9 mt long, had a mast with balance-lug mainsail and sometimes a jib used to balance the bow when sailing.

For longer boats the jib was not enough and it was necessary to add another mast at stern, with a small sail, as the bragozzo boats.

The Venetian topo was elegant, raked, long and narrow, with a round stern; the Chioggia topo was less elegant, quite large, with a rough stern which curves upwards, while the Istria topo, developed from the Chioggia one, had a gentle shape.

The topo used for lagoon fishing was called mussetto or musso in its basic version, and also mestiereto if it was longer than 7 mt: it was used as support boat by shipping companies and also as tender. The version with two masts was used to carry small things and for sardines fishing, in particular in the North Adriatic and it was usually known as battello.

The version used for coastal fishing had often a lateral board to have higher boat sides and it was called batelo or topo col filo, later simplified to become the current topa, which is cheaper because lighter and with the transom stern.

The topo is still used, particularly in the Venetian lagoon, both as pleasure boat and transport boat, because of its loading space, strength, handling, and possibility to add a motor.


length 90 cm

scale 1:10

larch wood, oak, cherry wood and walnut

finishing of black and shellac