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The Historical Regatta, a tradition that belongs to the Italy Heritage

Water is the element that most characterizes Venice and it is no coincidence that the most famous and spectacular festivity in the city takes place on the waters of the Grand Canal: the Historical Regatta.

This spectacular event is a magnificent historical procession consisting of splendid, elaborately carved boats complete with hundreds odd figures in gorgeous brocade costumes. This ancient tradition is one of the most spectacular, picturesque and moving events of Venetian life, capable of both charming the tourists and exciting the locals.


The Historical Regatta has been awarded of the important title of Italy Heritage, as an event that keeps the folklore of its territory alive, adapting the traditional representation to the changing of time.

Its origins dates back to 1489, to commemorate the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus, after she renounced her throne in favour of Venice. It is a procession of 16th century style boats, with the famous Bucintoro, the boat representing the Serenissima, at its head

Then comes the competition, when the spectators participate with gusto and shouts of encouragement during the sporting events.

This year takes place Sunday 4th of September, and here are some tips to enjoy it the best!

The traditional reference points of the regatta are:

- the spagheto or cordin, the rope stretched across the starting point in front of the Public Gardens;

- the paleto, a pole driven into the centre of the Grand Canal in front of the Church of Sant’Andrea della Zirada, around which the boats must tum before going back up the course (the first boats round the paleto are traditionally those which take the pennants awarded to the winners);

- the machina, a construction erected on a richly carved, painted and gilded wooden raft, which marks the finish of the race and on which the prize-giving ceremonies are held.

Did you know that? In the same period Venice hosts the International Film Festival, only until 10th of September…find out more!

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