Every year , the first sunday in September – the historical regatta is being held. It is one of the most traditional events in Venice, for the entertainment of both locals and tourists alike. Venetians and the neighbouring towns come out with their families, some will gather in their boats or bring their foldable seats setting them at the banks along the Grand Canal and Riva Degli Schiavoni to watch the race.
This year it fell on the 6th Sept and we caught most of it from our window in the living room! Bright colourful and well decorated boats headed the water parade. Apparently the 2 men gondolini race is the most prestigious, the rest is just for show !
The following excerpt taken from http://venicexplorer.net/tradizione/storica.php?hlangs=en
The Historical Regatta starts out with the colourful procession on water, formed by the Bissone, the Bucintoro and the boats of the venetian rowing clubs; the event commemorates the Queen of Cyprus, Caterina Cornaro, coming to Venice, which marked the beginning of the Serenissima rule over the Mediterranean islands. The historical parade has now just a picturesque importance, memory of the distant economical and political greatness of Venice on the seas, while the regattas represent still today the climax of the agonistic season in the world of the rowing alla veneta: winning that day for the rowers means to become a part of the history of this sport and, to a certain extent, of Venice.
The climax of the Venice Historical Regatta is the champions´ race on two-oared gondolini, light boats shaped as a very slim gondola. Unlike the regattas on the most popular lagoon boats, these competitions exalt the rowers technical abilities more than their power
Starting around 4pm ending at about 6-7pm in the evening and madness over Accademia bridge (see below) – Venice was at a stand-still.
At the Accademia bridge – far from the maddening crowd – not! Noticed the police? Not doing much it seems.
The leading gondola (2 men)