Regata Storica 2023 will take place on Sunday, September 3, 2023, in the beautiful city of Venice.
The Historical Regatta, the most important event of the Voga alla Veneta (Row like a Venetian) calendar, is both a historical reenactment event and a sporting event, which takes place every year on the first Sunday of September, in Venice.
The nature of the Venetian Lagoon encouraged rowing since the first people settled in the area. Forced to move mainly on water, the skills of the locals were soon recognized, and from here to the organization of rowing competitions it was only one step.
According to legend, the origin of the regatta dates back to the year 942, when, during a popular festival, the pirates kidnapped some Venetian women. Immediately, the pirates were chased by men in boats, who managed to catch them and release the women.
The first use of the term regata appears in a document of 1274, proving that regattas took place as early as the 13th century. The public authorities of the time began to encourage this type of sporting activity, to prepare the crews of the battleships for conflicts at sea.
Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, the regattas were organized by Compagnie della Calza, a theatrical association which arranged feasts and games in Venice.
In 1631, the Council of Ten (Consiglio dei Dieci), one of the major governing bodies of the Serenissima, decreed that only the State could organize the regattas.
The name Storica (Historical) was introduced in 1899, on the proposal of the mayor of the time, Filippo Grimani.
Around the same time, a historical procession was also proposed, to commemorate the triumphal reception in Venice of Catherine Cornaro, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Cyprus. The Queen, coming from a wealthy and influential Venetian family, abdicated in 1489 in favor of Venice, being applauded upon her return.
In 1939, due to the beginning of the Second World War, the Historical Regatta was cancelled, and it resumed only in 1946. Since 1946, the event took place every year.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Today, the Historical Regatta begins with an impressive procession of boats similar to those of the 16th century, which navigate the Grand Canal, headed by a replica of the famous Bucentaur (Bucintoro), the festive ship of the Doges of Venice.
Seven rowing races take place during the day, structured by category, according to the age of the crew and the number of rowing men. The races usually starts in the San Marco Basin, run along the Grand Canal, passing by Ponte dell’Accademia, to reach the Ca’ Foscari Palace, where a floating platform called Machina marks the finish line.
- 4.00 pm – Historical parade along the Grand Canal, with costumed crews, boats and gondolas;
- 4.30 pm – Maciarele and Schie regatta, two-oared regatta dedicated to children;
- 4.50 pm – Young rowers’ twin-oared regatta;
- 5.10 pm – Six-oared caorline regatta;
- 5.40 pm – Women’s twin-oared mascarete regatta;
- 6.10 pm – Twin-oared gondolini regatta.
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