La Regata Storica (Historical Regatta)
The Regata Storica (Historical Regatta) is one of the favorite events of Venetians and is the main appointment of the local rowing competitions. It is scheduled every year on the first Sunday of September and attracts residents and tourists to the historic center.
The program includes a splendid water parade with typical boats and figures in costume, which is followed by various competitions along the Grand Canal (for the occasion it is closed to water traffic).
The historical regatta has very ancient origins. The first visual image of the event is present in the "Plan of Venice" (1500) by Jacopo de' Barbari, but the first written records date back to the thirteenth century, linked in some way to the Festa delle Marie (The feast of the Marys). Since then many painters have chosen the regatta as the subject of their works, including the famous Canaletto.
The most spectacular part of the event is the historical parade. The "Bissona Serenissima" and other typical Venetian boats parade along the Grand Canal with figures in costume, including the Doge, the Dogaressa and all the highest offices of the Venetian Republic, re-evoking the glorious past of Venice.
At the end of the historical parade, the Venetian rowing competitions begin: first those reserved for children, then the others follow one another, to end with twin-oared mascarete and gondolini led by the best Venetian rowers who have handed down this passion for generations.
Here is the detailed program:
- Regata de le Maciarele e de le Schie (regattas for children and teenagers)
- Young rowers’ twin-oared Pupparini regatta
- Six-oared Caorline regatta
- International Universities Boat Challenge
- Women’s twin-oared Mascarete regatta
- Men’s twin-oared Gondolini regatta
Pupparin, Mascareta, Caorlina, Gondolino are some traditional Venetian boats that differ from each other for their historical use (e.g. Pupparin for maritime guards, Mascareta for fishing, Caorlina as a work boat), for size and shape.
The Gondolino, in particular, was built exclusively for the historical regatta and was used for the first time in 1825; thanks to its lightness it makes competitions more exciting and faster.