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The Gondolier

Language  English 

Duration   55 min.

Topic LGBTQ + / Women's Rights

Subtitled in Lithuanian

What happens when doing what you want to do means giving up who you really are? 

We travel to Venice, Italy with reporters Kristen Clark and David Conrad, where they meet gondolier Alex Hai. On the winding canals in the hidden parts of Venice, we learn about the nearly 1000-year old tradition of the Venetian Gondolier, and how the global media created a 20-year battle between that tradition and a supposed feminist icon.

Reported by David Conrad and Kristen Clark

Produced by Annie McEwen and Molly Webster

Special thanks to Alexis Ungerer, Summer, Alex Hai, Kevin Gotkin, Silvia Del Fabbro, Sandro Mariot, Aldo Rosso and Marta Vannucci, Hillary Frank, Peter Clowney and Abigail Keel, Tim Howard, Nick Adams, Valentina Powers, Florence Ursino, Ann Marie Somma , Alex Overington, Jeremy Bloom and the residents of Little Italy.  

Podcast Radiolab
Translation Aušra Bagočiūnaitė

Subtitles Adomas Zubė
Animation Emilija Juzeliūnaitė

Annie McEwen, Molly Webster


Molly Webster is our Senior Correspondent at Radiolab. After completing a degree in biology, Molly pursued science journalism, writing for outlets such as Scientific American and National Geographic Adventure. Her ability to comprehend and totally immerse herself in complicated issues has helped Radiolab investigate international surrogacy, the price of a human life, and one very special jar. She has adapted her audio and written work for the stage, performing in theaters from BAM to TED.


Annie grew up in Dunrobin, Ontario, headed east for school and ended up in St. John's, Newfoundland. It was there that she fell under the patient mentorship of Chris Brookes at Battery Radio who taught her about sound and tape. She furthered her studies in radio at the Transom Story Workshop and then, under a series of confounding and improbable events, she ended up at Radiolab. She loves it here. When she's not cutting tape she likes to be outside.

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