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The Vogalonga – Venice Carnival on water

21 May 2010 One Comment

One of the most fascinating marathon-on-water of Venice, the “Vogalonga” , is back this Sunday 23rd of May.

The “Vogalonga” (long row) is a cheerful free event to watch (either way is only €18 to participate in the rowing) that sees gondola, canoes, dragon boats, traditional Venetian rowing boats like the elegant “balotina” or any sort of imaginative craft-with-oars of any size and shapes, even crazy swimmers sometimes join along, battling in this non-competitive 30-km race across the Venice Lagoon, en route to Burano and Murano, and back down the Grand Canal to the finishing line in front of St Mark Square.


Photo by CRI*@Flickr

A spectacular event that engages not only Venetians but people coming from all over Italy and even abroad. Last year’s event counted 1500 vessels and 5000 racers among amateur and professionals’ rowers. It’s a real carnival of boats where rowers even dress up in traditional rowing clubs’ outfit like straw hats and striped shirts.

Photo by nikki_leaf@Flickr

It all started in 1974 as a friendly regatta among few friends passionate about rowing and from then it literally swelled over the years to what is today one of the most important event in the Lagoon. It couldn’t be otherwise in the “City of Water” where canals are the soul of the city and rowing is a long-standing tradition.

The Vogalonga is a way to celebrate the Venetian canals but also to forget the annoyances caused by the destructive motorboats and for one day the canals will gain back their lost tranquility only break by the slap of the oars, the enthusiasm of the spectator s and the shouts of the rowing teams.

Photo by Comitato Vogalonga

Whatever you are a rower or a viewer, the Vogalonga is a great event to sink into the authentic Venetian rowing spirit.

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  • Wow it looks very spectacular and colourful 🙂