We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Regata Storica 2013

For me, one of the highlights of the year in Venice is the annual Regata Storica, a procession of 16th century style boats down the Grand Canal all filled with rowers and passengers dressed in period garb, including the Doge and the Doge's wife. The procession was to welcome Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus who in 1489 renounced her throne to live in Venice.

It's thrilling to see the Grand Canal void of all the everyday usual traffic as people line its sides waiting for the boat parade to begin. The procession participants begin at the Public Gardens, Giardini, and make their way up the Grand Canal,  turning around in front of the train station  then  ending at  Ca' Foscari  where the machina, the parade reviewing stand, is located.

Earlier in the morning a large pole, called the paleto,  is driven into the middle of the Grand Canal in front of the Santa Lucia train station. The paleto marks the turn around point for the race.  A rope, called the spagheto, is stretched across the starting point in front of the Giardini (the public gardens).

Later in the afternoon the regata is held, beginning with the race for young rowers, followed by the women's race,  the 6-man teams and finally the teams of 2 gondoliers.  A different style traditional rowing boat is used for each different race category:   pupparini for the youth, mascarete for women, caroline for the 6 man teams and gondolini for the 2 man "champions" race.  Excitement mounts as everyone waits for the last race of the day,with local Venetians cheering on their favorites from the sidelines.

Colored pennants are awarded to the winners: Red for first place, white 2nd place, green 3rd place and blue 4th place.

Regata Storica is always held on the first Sunday in September. Tomorrow's activities begin at 4pm with the historic procession. The Grand Canal will be cleared of traffic beginning at 3:00 pm.

The race schedule is as follows:
4:50 - Pupparini (youth)
5:10 - Mascarete (women)
5:40 - Caroline (men)
6:10 - Gondolini  (gondoliers)

I'll be out with my camera somewhere along the Grand Canal tomorrow afternoon. For now, here are some photos from prior Regata Storicas to get you in the mood.


jodi said...

The boats are beautiful. Looks like fun.

Waratah Jongsaeng said...

I've been reading your blog quite a while and I have to say that I truly enjoy the experience :)

My dad and I plan to visit Venice for a few days at the end of September. He is an architect and I study Arts so we are researching cool, local places worth visiting and your blog has been once of the greatest resource. So, thank you!!

We are still finding a chic yet affordable place to stay but it's quite hard to find on the internet since there are like 700 hotels come up at each search! hahaha

I will keep looking at your blogs since there are so many other posts that I had yet read ;D Thank you again for creating such an AMAZING blog!

Alan Lee said...

We just got back from a weekend in Venice... we packed a lot in the few days we were there and made a video of our experience too... what a nice trip!


Alan Lee said...

We just got back from visiting Venice and made a video of our experience. Everything seemed so quaint and I could imagine that nothing has changed in 100s of years.

We compressed our trip into 15 mins


RAW said...

Hi Karen, the one event that we would love to see, but haven't been in Venice at the right time. Photos look great.

We would love to catch up with you for a pre Xmas spritz after we arrive late November. How do we contact you?

Richard and Coral

RAW said...

Hi Karen, hope this reaches you as never sure that it will!

This is the one event that we would love to see and have never managed to be in Venice at the right time!!

We would love to catch up with you for a pre-Xmas spritz after we arrive late November, but how do we contact you?

Richard and Coral

karen said...

Richard- I sent an email to an earlier message. My email is kmc207@gmail.com. Send me a message when you get into town we'll work out a time to meet.