This year the Vogalonga regatta celebrates its 45th edition, and it is considered one of the most unique sporting events in Venice. The Vogalonga is a day to celebrate the Venetian rowing style and promote this sport as a symbol of social sharing. If you are curious to discover the history of the Vogalonga, here we have collected the best places to watch the regatta.
The story starts with a couple of friends who, with passion and dedication, wanted to keep a disappearing tradition alive, Venetian rowing. In a world increasingly focused on motor and sailing boats, people interested in this activity were decreasing year after year. As a result, the idea of creating a non-competitive regatta in Venice was born, where both Venetian and non-Venetian crews would challenge each other.
A Corriere della Sera reporter, Sandro Meccoli, would define them as “a small group of Venetians, tired of ‘chatting and hearing critiques’ about the city and her lagoon, who have called her citizens to take up arms as they have always done so: their oars.”
On May 8th, 1975, the first edition of the Vogalonga began.
Unlike the Historical Regatta, taking place on the first Sunday of September with only 9 crews for each category, many crews participate in the Vogalonga. Nowadays, the event counts up to 1600 crews and about 6000 people.
Everything is ready for the 45th edition of the Vogalonga. On June 9th, 2019 thousands of rowing enthusiasts will leave from the St. Mark’s Basin, in front of the Doge’s Palace, to take part in this traditional event. The itinerary is 40 km long and it must be covered without the help of an engine, only using the strength of arms and legs to travel over the waves of the lagoon.
The route designed annually to cover all the most scenic places in Venice: from Burano and Murano islands to the Rio di Cannaregio, through the famous Grand Canal until the finishing line at Punta della Dogana in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.
Gondole, caorline, pupparini, sandoli and mascarete are just some of the typical Venetian boats used by the competitors to take part in this event.
One of the main transit points of the regatta is in front of our hotel: in fact, starting from 10.30am, you can watch boats sailing down Rio di Cannaregio. Here, you’ll be able to appreciate the passion of every single crew, and enjoy the competition.
If you love to wake up early in the morning to experience sunrise in Venice, you can’t miss the opportunity to see the race departing in front of St. Mark’s Square. The basin between the square and the San Giorgio island will be full of boats ready to leave for Sant’Elena.
We suggest considering the whole Grand Canal as a place to enjoy the regatta: its historic buildings, offer the perfect background for your first Vogalonga in Venice.