Heading to Regata Storica this September?
Experience Venice’s Historic Regatta
Overview: Head to Venice for the historic Regata Storica this September, and experience a rowing race – sixteenth century style!
On Sunday 4th September the stunning city of Venice will host its annual Regata Storica. This is the highlight of La Serenissima’s “Voga alla Veneta” – an annual calendar of rowing events. Rowing has been practised in Venice for centuries, and this event brings its history vividly back to life. The Regatta starts with a historical pageant, in which dozens of sixteenth century-style boats glide down the Grand Canal, sailed by gondoliers in traditional Venetian costume. This is a recreation of the events of years past, when the Doge and his wife would be at the head of the water-bound procession through the city, with the great and good of Venice following in their wake. This recreation is truly a spectacle to behold!
Where to Watch?
Once the procession has finished, the rowing races start. There are a range of these to watch, but the most spectacular is the ‘Campioni su Gondolni’, in which super fit Gondoliers race their vessels down the canal in a bid to be the first to cross the finishing line. This is situated outside the historic Ca’ Foscari Palazzo. The event is truly a once in a lifetime experience, and a chance to see a slice of colourful Venetian history brought vividly to life.
It’s possible to hire a viewing spot on one of the many floating platforms which are set up on the Grand Canal for the Regata Storica. Sit back and sip a Venetian spritz as you watch the action take place! These orange drinks, which you will see everywhere in the city, are wine-based cocktails made with Aperol and Campari. No trip to Venice is complete without sampling one of these!
What else to see?
If you’re in town for the Regata, then why not take advantage and see what else the city has to offer? The heart of Venice lies in St. Mark’s Square, where you will find the eponymous Saint’s stunning cathedral. This byzantine-influenced landmark is awe-inspiring, with its shimmering walls of golden mosaics.
The Doge’s Palace in Piazza San Marco is also a must-see. Walk through an increasingly impressive series of rooms and learn how the history of this maritime city unfolded. Look out for the world’s largest oil painting! For a bird’s eye view of Venice, head up the Square’s Campanile – the view is awe-inspiring. Don’t forget your camera! After all this sightseeing, head to historic Cafe Florian which boasts Casanova himself amongst its most famous patrons. Though a coffee might set you back a little, it’s worth the extra money to sit in the Piazza listening to the house orchestra and soaking up the iconic views.
Murano and Burano
Make sure you take a boat trip to the islands of Murano and Burano while you’re in Venice. Murano is famous for its glass – go to see the ancient art of glass-blowing demonstrated in one of the many quaint factories on the island. In the afternoon take a boat on to Burano, and stroll the streets of candy-coloured houses while enjoying some Venetian gelato.
If you plan to travel to see the Regata Storica, you should take out European travel insurance before you leave.