Even Venice has its Gran Prix: the Historical Regatta (Regata Storica.) No shiny cars, but fierce crew members on traditional boats-rigorously oars- that are ready to challenge all rivalries that would make even Formula 1 champions envious.
The Historical Regatta is the main event during the Venetian rowing season: a calendar full of events are testimony to the nautical calling of the city through numerous races of Voga alla Veneta, a century old technique exercised in the lagoon. But the highlight arrives punctually the first Sunday of Every September (this year the 6th of September,) accompanied by an intense program of collateral manifestations during the day.
For those who don’t particularly love rowing, there’s no problem. In fact, before the competition itself, Venice takes you back a few centuries and allows you to relive the splendor of the 1500’s with the renowned and Historical Parade made of about 10 spectacular traditional boats (obviously with oars) adorned in opulent decorations. Rowers and Gondoliers in costume recreate the atmosphere of a time impersonating some of the most important roles of the Serinissima, including the Doge. It’s a fascinating trip across San Marco and all of Grand Canal, an exciting and lavish procession of beauty and history.
Even Venetians participate in masses at the Regata Stroica occupying the banks of the Grand Canal in the early afternoon to guarantee a first row seat. If instead you prefer comfort in front of Campo San Vio is a floating platform with various places to sit, booking available online (ticket 60 euros full price.)
The Historical Regatta is composed of four competitions, divided in categories of age and type of boat: in any case you can’t miss the winners of the Gondolini Regatta which are rowing professionals ready to fight to the finish in front of the floating platform reserved for authorities in front of Palazzo Ca’Foscari.