Regata Storica 2018

Get in touch with the spirit of this ancient city and one of its best known traditions!

02 September 2018

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If you are planning a trip to Italy, make a note of 2nd September on your calendar: Venice Regata Storica 2018! The city on the water is ready for one of its most charming traditional festivals!

The Historical Regatta, Venice, program does not change. Occurring, according to a well-established tradition, on the first Sunday of September, the Regata Storica is one of the most anticipated annual calendar events in Venice, a unique and exciting way to get in touch with the spirit of this ancient city and one of its best known traditions: Venetian rowing.

On this page you can find information and tips about the event – Venice Regatta schedule, the Regata Storica route, program and a brief description to better understand the significance of this great event that combines history and sport in a not-to-be-missed afternoon. Besides the history and folklore importance of this festival, one should not forget that the Venice Regatta in September is the main event of the racing calendar of Venetian rowing, a discipline practiced only in the lagoon of Venice and the surrounding areas.

Historical Regatta Venice 2018

  • From 4.00 pm Historical Parade
    Colourful procession of traditional boats with costumed people, boats of the associations of Venetian rowing and gondolas. Course: St. Mark’s Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto; return along the Grand Canal up to Ca’ Foscari.
  • 4.30 pm - Maciarele and Schie regatta: two oared regatta on mascarete dedicated for children
    Schie (up to 10 years, course from Rialto to Ca’ Foscari); Regata Storica Maciarele Junior (under 12 years old, course from San Stae to Ca’ Foscari); Maciarele Senior (up to 14 years old, course from Punta della Dogana to Ca’ Foscari).
  • 4.50 pm - Young rowers’ twin-oared pupparini regatta
    St. Mark’s Bay, Grand Canal, around the paleto in front of Ca’ Farsetti, Ca’ Foscari.
  • 5.10 pm - Six-oared caorline regatta
    St. Mark's Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto, around the paleto in front of San Marcuola, Ca' Foscari.
  • 5.40 pm - Women’s twin-oared mascarete regatta
    St. Mark's Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto, around the paleto in front of and San Marcuola, Ca' Foscari.
  • 6.10 pm - Twin-oared gondolini regatta
    St. Mark's Bay, Grand Canal, Rialto, around the paleto in front of and San Marcuola, Ca' Foscari.
  • After the passage of the 3- and 4-seater caorline and gondolini – the International University Rowing Challenge will kick-off on 8-rower galleons between the Ca 'Foscari and Iuav University of Venice, the University of Padua, the University of Vienna and the University of Warwick (following a route from Rialto to Ca 'Foscari).

The program of the Venice Regatta Storica festival 2018 starts at 4.00 pm with the expected Historical parade, one of the most anticipated moments of this intense day especially for tourists, eager to take part in a fascinating evocation of the glory and power of the ancient Republic of Venice. The extraordinary water parade formed by traditional colourful boats, some of which are used only in these particular events, with people in costume who interpret the upper echelon of the Venice Judiciary – the Doge and the Duchess - is a faithful reconstruction of the royal reception given to Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, on her arrival in Venice in 1489, after her abdication in favour of the Republic.

The Venice regattas that follow the parade of historic boats are considered the most important event of the entire Venetian rowing season and the winners are held in high regard by the practitioners of this fascinating discipline. The Venetian rowing is a special technique of rowing practices in the lagoon of Venice and the surrounding areas because of the peculiarities of the environment, which requires vessels that can be easily maneuvered and a stroke that allows one to easily monitor the seabed to avoid the numerous shoals and the low sandy coasts.

Those wishing to attend the event, take note of the Regata Storica route! The Grand Canal is reconfirmed as the undisputed stage of this event for both the historical parade and for the following rowing competitions; the finish point - Ca ' Foscari - coincide for all the events, while the starting point varies depending on the rowing competition and therefore track lengths to be covered are different.

The Historical Parade goes through the Canal Grande to Venice Santa Lucia railway station, then it reverses its course and goes back to Ca' Foscari.

The Venetian rowing races follow the historic re-enactment (the categories are determined according to the age of rowers or the type of boat used):

  • Young rowers’ twin-oared pupparini regatta
  • Six-oared caorline regatta
  • Women’s twin-oared mascarete regatta
  • Twin-oared gondolini regatta

The boats are lined up and kept in position at the starting line by a lanyard - spagheto - at the starting point designated for each category. After entering the Canal Grande, they follow it to the category post, where the boats make a U-turn and then go through a stretch of the Grand Canal up to Cà Foscari. The main competitions of the Regata Storica in Venice 2018 listed above are usually followed by others with different starting points, such as the two-oared regattas on mascarete reserved for children aged 10 to 14 years and the International Rowing Challenge of Universities. Even for these ones, the end point of the Historical Regatta always remains fixed at Ca' Foscari, near the largest floating stage - the so-called machine of the Regata Storica - where the winners of the rowing competitions are rewarded by the authorities.

Among the various competitions scheduled, the regatta storica Venice gondolini is one of the most anticipated: the long route and the experienced rowers who compete for the victory, make it one of the most exciting races, full of twists and surprises from start to finish!

Visiting Venice in September when the Historical Regatta takes place is a unique experience: if you want to see the entire event, we suggest you to position yourself in the area between the Rialto Bridge and Ca' Foscari, where both the Venetian parade and all other rowing competitions pass by. But be careful to position yourself well in advance! The best seats are always the most popular! Alternatively, if you just wish to admire the parade on the Grand Canal and watch the most important races, any point along the Grand Canal (from Punta della Dogana to the train station) will be fine. Even the Venetians take part in the Venice Regatta with enthusiasm and participation, and watch the Venetian parade and the races from the canal banks or by the beautiful buildings that overlook the route.

Please pay also special attention to Venice public trasport! During the historical regatta the Grand Canal is closed to water traffic, therefore times and route of the vaporetto are subject to changes. Do not forget to look for information about these changes in order to avoid delays and any other inconvenience. 

Before we conclude, one final curiosity ... The colour of the hulls of the boats in the race is due to their positioning on the starting line! After the drawing of the positions for the start of the competitions scheduled at the Venice, Italy, Historical Regatta the crews will paint the boats according to the numbers assigned to them!

Do not miss the Regata Storica in Venice Italy 2018! Route and program have already been decided... On September 2 the Serenissima Republic will be back to life to give the modern Venice a taste of its infinite magic!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff