5 June 2022

It’s a popular and international sea marathon. Thousands of rowing boats of all kinds and sizes from 5 continents gather in St. Mark’s Basin, in front of the Doge’s Palace, to take part in a kaleidoscopic 30 km regatta among islands, canals and the most fascinating places of the lagoon. Sant’Erasmo, Burano, Murano and dozens of other islets are caressed by thousands of boats which are cheered by a multitude of people assisting to the regatta. From here the boats row back to Venice, through the Rio di Cannaregio, the popular heart of the rowing festival, to enter the Grand Canal until the finish line at Punta della Dogana. The non-competitive event was born in 1975 on the initiative of a group of Venetians fond of the traditional “Venetian rowing”, a very ancient rowing technique linked to the particular hydrogeological features of the Venetian lagoon. The promoters’ aim was to raise public awareness towards the long-standing problem of the serious wave motion caused by motor boat traffic. The initiative achieved immediately a great success: 500 boats including gondolas, pupparini, sandoli, mascarete, caorline and peate silently waited for the cannon shot to immerse their oars in water and mark the first chapter of an event that still today gives all participants the opportunity to rediscover the natural beauty of the lagoon, its landscapes and its habitat.