The New York Times has this article about Venice's first female gondolier today. I adore Venice, and as a normally rather observant feminist, I was shocked to realize that there has never been a female gondolier. It surprised me to learn that it was only eight years ago a woman was first permitted to wait tables in St. Mark's Square. I was relieved I never deigned the Florian with my money or presence, as they still only allow women to wait on tables indoors, not on the piazza itself.
Perhaps I was too blinded by the beauty of Venice on my vacations there to stop and notice the rampant sexism.