Regata Storica Rowing / Sports Every year in September

Regata Storica - Rowing | Sports in Venice.
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The Regata Storica is an incredibly popular rowing race in Venice with roots dating back to the 13th century – and possibly even further back than that – that was designed to celebrate the city’s proud maritime history... ... read more

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    The Grand Canal ll

    The Grand Canal ll
    30135 Venice

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Regata Storica Description

Regata Storica - Rowing | Sports in Venice.

The Regata Storica is an incredibly popular rowing race in Venice with roots dating back to the 13th century – and possibly even further back than that – that was designed to celebrate the city’s proud maritime history, as well as give avid competitors a chance to speed down the Venice lagoon.

Taking place on the first Sunday in September and free-to-attend for all, the Regata Storica is perhaps best-known for the amazing pageant that precedes the race, when several dozen 16th century-style boats and gondoliers in period costume carry high-ranking Venetian government officials up the Grand Canal.

Tourists and locals alike line the water’s edge to watch both the precession and four races that follow, each divided based on the age and type of craft used, from large galleys to tiny gondolas. The small gondola races, called the Campioni su Gondolini, are probably the most popular category in the Regata Storica race, as elite pairs of gondoliers pilot their crafts at impressive speeds towards the finish line at the "machina," a floating stage located in front of the Ca' Foscari Palace.

Spectators at Regata Storica also take to the water in their own boats, crowding the lagoon to such an extent that early Regata Storicas employed parade boats; each staffed with noblemen armed with bows and terracotta shot to pelt unruly spectators out of the way.

These “bissone” boats are still used, but thankfully they only have a ceremonial function, as most water-bound spectators know to stay out of the way.

An unforgettable sight, the Regata Storica is an amazing Venice boat race that no one should miss. And on the off-chance you see some terracotta flying through the air…duck!

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