Every year, on the first Sunday of September, there is a celebration loved by the Venetians and tourists alike, called the Regata Storica (Historical Regatta). This moment combines a sporting event with a historical evocation, under the sign of the most important event of the Voga alla Veneta calendar.
The origins of the Venetian regattas are lost in time, with various speculations placing the birth of this custom somewhere between the 10th and the 13th century. The nature of this place has encouraged this type of manifestation since the appearance of the first people in this area, who were forced to move mainly on water. It did not take long, until the skill of the Venetians began to be recognized, and from here to the organization of sporting competitions, in which they demonstrated their skills, it was only one step.
Regata Storica begins each year with an impressive procession that commemorates the triumphal reception of Caterina Cornaro on the Venetian ground. She, the Empress of Cyprus and Armenia, coming from a wealthy and influential Venetian family, quit the throne in 1489 in favor of Venice, being applauded upon her return.
Boats similar to those of the 16th century navigate the Canal Grande, headed by a replica of the famous Bucintoro (Bucentaur), the festive ship of the Venetian Doge, all decorated in colors that steals your eyes.
The boat races are seven, structured by category, depending on the age of the crew and the number of rowing men. Boats usually start from the San Marco Basin and go through the Grand Canal to Ponte della Costituzione, to return to Ca’ Foscari. There is a floating platform, called Machina, which marks the point of arrival.
REGATA STORICA 2018 will be held on Sunday, September 2, and the program is as follows:
- 4.00 pm – Historical parade along the Grand Canal, with costumed crews, boats and gondolas of the Venetian rowing associations (Voga alla Veneta);
- 4.30 pm – Maciarele and Schie regatta, two-oared regatta on mascarete dedicated to children, with three categories: Maciarele senior (under 14 years), Schie (under 10 years) and Maciarele Junior (under 12 years);
- 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.