I am trying to find the most appropriate ways to translate the Italian word "funivia", which is nothing but a metal bars chair suspended together with others on a cable used to go uphill or downhill.

Stone ski resorts translate this term as "gondola". I know of no other terms, perhaps "cableway" would be one of them, perhaps someone can shed some light on this.

But, besides this, why the term "gondola", in English (to translate "funivia")? Why this choice when in Italian this is a term for a specific type of romantic boat used in particular in Venice?


  • 4
    Isn't a metal bars chair on a cable rather a seggiovia than a funivia, while the latter has a cabin? I'd guess the English word really refers to that cabin, but that's probably rather a question about English than Italian.
    – DonHolgo
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 7:14
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    "Gondola" refer to a single compartment, not to the whole cableway. Why English language use this word in this meaning is a question better suited to the StackExchange sites about English language.
    – DaG
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 8:18
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    Do you know if this English "gondola" used with the meaning you mention comes from this use of Italian "gondola"? If it's that way, the linked Wikipedia article may contain the answer to your question.
    – Charo
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


Cableway or ropeway, as any Italian-English dictionary could tell you.

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