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Regata Storica 2024 in Venice

A great chance to see a historic pageant and race

Dates: September 1, 2024

Regata Storica
Regata Storica

On the first Sunday of September, thousands of people flock to La Serenissima to witness the Regata Storica. Before the big regatta, there is a pageant of 16th-century style gondolas, with all of their rowers dressed in historical garb. The competitive regatta features four separate gondola races. The Grand Canal and St Mark’s Bay are filled with boats of various sizes, colors, and shapes.

The Historical Parade

The colorful boat parade features dozens of historical boats, floating on the Grand Canal. The most famous boats are the Bissone, decorated with fabrics from the East, known as bissi. Bucintoro is another type of luxurious boat. In the past, these boats were carrying noblemen who helped clear the canal before the regatta. This tradition still lives on. The public can see the figures of the doge, his wife, and magistracy authorities. Modern-day officials can also be seen in the boats, which take them to see the beginning of the regatta. It is believed that the tradition of the boat parade dates back to 1489, when the return of Caterina Cornaro, Venice-born queen of Cyprus, was celebrated on a large scale. The parade, which starts at 4 pm, goes through St. Mark’s Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto, and Railway Station and returns along the Grand Canal to Ca’ Foscari.

Competitive Regata

The competitive regatta usually starts at 4.30 pm. Two-oared mascarete boats with children as rovers are the first to compete. Schie (rovers under 10 years) compete from Rialto to Ca’ Foscari.Maciarele Junior (under 12 years) rove from San Stae to Ca’ Foscari. Maciarele senior (under 14 years) float from Punta della Dogana to Ca’ Foscari. Young rovers' twin-oared pupparini regatta takes place on St. Mark’s Bay, Grand Canal, around the paleto, and in front of Ca’ Farsetti, finishing at Ca’ Foscari. Six-oared caorline regatta starts at about 5 pm at St. Mark’s Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto, and back to Ca’ Foscari. Women's twin-oared mascarete regatta takes place on the same route. Gondolini (final) is the International Universities Boat Challange on eight-oared galeoni boats by the crew of Ca’ Foscari and Universities of Venice versus the teams of other Universities. The length of the route can vary in different categories, but the finish line is always in front of the floating stage at Ca’ Foscari,

Regata History

Regatta tradition in Venice dates back to the thirteenth century and even earlier, when it was part of the festival of the sea. In the 1500s, artists regularly started picturing regattas in paintings. Regatta has become one of the favorite scenes in art. In 1841, during the Austrian rule, the Municipality of Venice held an annual boat race along the Grand Canal as a showcase of gondoliers' skills. In 1866, the race has become a celebration and a tribute to the glorious history of the Republic of Venice. Nowadays, Venice holds more than 120 regattas per year, usually during the summer season. The Venetian rowing regattas have several categories according to gondoliers' age and kinds of boats.

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