/ The Venice Guide

Historical Regatta: Race Up The Grand Canal

Historical Regatta

Historical Regatta

For those of you who are faithful readers, you’ll know that there have been several regattas throughout the year that I have written about. All of them have been nothing but a prelude and some hearty practice leading up to the mother of them all…the Regatta Storica (Historical Regatta).

The Regatta Storica is the main event in the annual Voga alla Veneta, and for all means, should be. This massive regatta up the Grand Canal dates back hundreds of years and was the crowning glory of the wealthiest families in Venice should their boat win. But the race has lost some of this prestige since the time of the Doges, now it is more about the colorful and spectacular show of 16th century gondolas prior to the race.

The amazing sight is a rough reconstruction of the powerful and influential Maritime past of the greatest Republic of the ancient world. Today there are a total of four races that are divided into types of craft and by age. The most exciting, and perhaps the fastest, is the series of small sport gondolas that tear down the Grand Canal in the race called “Campioni su Gondolini” (Champions on the Little Gondolas). These small and quick rowers fly down the Grand Canal and finish at the floating stage that is located in front of the Foscari Palace.

Purchase Your Tickets Online However, if you prefer to find a place along the Grand Canal for free, there are plenty available, just try down the small uncrowded streets that lead up the Grand Canal from both sides. GET THERE EARLY if this is your choice.

The Program:
THURSDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER
6.00 pm, Campo della Salute
Blessing of the gondolini

SUNDAY 6th SEPTEMBER
3.15 pm
Historical water pageant: a parade of boats with crews in period costume along the Grand Canal
Sport water pageant
Gondola parade
, with specially decorated wedding, charter, traghetto and funeral gondolas
Course: from St. Mark’s Bay all the way down the Grand Canal.

Four-oared gondola regatta

Maciarele
regatta, for young rowers up to 13 years of age, from San Stae to Ca’ Foscari

4.45 pm

Young rowers’ twin-oared pupparini regatta.
Course: the Castello Gardens, St. Mark’s Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto (around the paleto in front of the Banca d’Italia), and back to finish at Ca’ Foscari.

5.05 pm
Women’s twin-oared mascarete regatta.
Course: the Castello Gardens, St. Mark’s Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto (around the paleto between Riva de Biasio and San Marcuola), and back down the Grand Canal to finish at Ca’ Foscari.

Garda lake bisse regatta: from Punta della Dogana to Ca’ Foscari

5.30 pm
Six-oared caorline regatta.
Course: the Castello Gardens, St. Mark’s Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto (around the paleto in front of the Santa Lucia railway station), and back down the Grand Canal to finish at Ca’ Foscari.

1st round Venice Universities Boat Race: an eight-oared galeoni regatta with student crews from the two Venetian universities, Ca’ Foscari and IUAV, in two rounds of 720 m, from the Rialto Bridge to Ca’ Foscari

6.00 pm

Twin-oared gondolini regatta.
Course: the Castello Gardens, St. Mark’s Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto (around the paleto in front of the Santa Lucia railway station), and back down the Grand Canal to finish at Ca’ Foscari.

2nd round Venice Universities Boat Race: an eight-oared galeoni regatta with student crews from the two Venetian universities, Ca’ Foscari and IUAV, in two rounds of 720 m, from the Rialto Bridge to Ca’ Foscari

8.00 pm
Spiritual Concert “Tribute to Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cipro“: Church of St. Salvador, Rialto



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