Want some nautical adventure in the middle of a historic city this May?
Why not sign yourself up for the Vogalonga in Venice?
While Venice is celebrating Carnival this February, I am reminiscing about a late spring regatta I was lucky to experience by happenstance during my last visit.
May 19th of 2010 I was in Venice with my 50 lb suitcase being dragged behind me upon uneven cobblestones and carried up and then down the stairs of the Rialto Bridge. Yes, my first trip to Europe was an eye opener for me when it came to my packing habits. At this point I was changing hotels from my delightful accommodations I shared with my boyfriend, near the Rialto, to the convent by the Academia Bridge my art history professor booked to begin my three week art history course. In such cases I recommend either walking it but with a heavy suitcase I wanted to take the Vaporetto (water bus). Unfortunately, bus services were shut down for the day due to the Vogalonga festivities but with every misfortune there is a gold lining in Venice and so I took a more pricey slow moving water taxi with a wonderful view of the Grand Canal as seen below.
What is the Vogalonga?
The Vogalonga is a 30 km non competitive rowing race where entrants row, kayak or even gondolier the Grand Canal until they reach Burano, the lagoon island famed for its lace and colourful Dr. Seuss buildings. There are no winners of the race but participants receive a certificate and an experience of a lifetime.
The Vogalonga is an event that began to raise awareness of all the motor boats upon the canal that create wakes which in turn erode the historic buildings’ foundations away.
The Vogalonga is an amazing opportunity for photographers or those who love to watch rather than row. The best places to take photos of the regatta is from a water taxi as they slowly weave in between boats so as not to interrupt their momentum. However, this also undermines the event itself which I did not know at the time or else I would have walked to my hotel. You can also try to weave your way in between tourists upon the Rialto Bridge but the wooden, and much larger, Academia Bridge is by far the best place to take in the scenery and take an uninterrupted photo of boats racing against a backdrop of still and ageing 15th and 16th century buildings.
To participate in this year’s (2013) Vogalonga, always held on May 19th, follow the link below.
More Nautical Festivals in Venice…(although keep in mind there are 120 regatta’s during Venice’s rowing season)
Witches Regatta – January
Venice International Boat Show – April
Feast of the Sensa, marriage between the Doge & the Sea – May
Festa del Redentore – July
Pellestrina Regatta – August
Historic Regatta – September