REGATA STORICA



With the fall of the Serenissima Republic, in the Venice that was now under the control of the French, now under Austrians, the Bucintoro no longer present, the Regattas, too, altered considerably. Nothing remained of the enormous patrimonies the Venetian Nobles had disspated so freely and so the great Regattas were held no longer. From 18225, however, a water parade that included some "Bissone", gala gondolas and the boats of the nautical societies was rewened ; during the display, a regatta was held for the "gondolette", the present day "gondolini". Since then, this regatta was named the "Royal Regatta" and later, "Historical", as it revived the traditional and magnificent regattas of the past. From 1825 to today, the "Regatta Storica" has been held every year, except during the years of the two world wars, and from the Unification of Italy to the end of the second world war, a member of the Royal House of Savoy was always present at each "Regata Storica". Today, the "Regata Storica" is held on the first Sunday of Semptember. Since 1976, four races are held on the same day, respectively for : - Young people from 17 to 20 years of age, in "Pupparini" ; - Women, in "Mascarete" with two rowers ; . Racers from districts and islands, in "Caorline" with six rowers ; - Racers in "Gondolini". The regatta of gondolini with two rowers is held on the afternoon of the first Sunday in September and is proceeded by the regatta of the "caorline", large boats with six rowers which were once used bby the gardeners of the islands in the estuary for the transport of goods to market. Each "caorlina" is richly decorated and on the prow is placed a sample of products from the island it represents : fruits, vegetables or fish. Nine "caorline" compete and they are chosen with an eliminatory heat between the islands of Liopiccolo, Burano, S.Erasmo, Vignole, Treporti, Cavallino, S.Pietro in Volta, Pellestrina, Malamocco, Murano, Giudecca, Lido, S.Elena, Alberoni, Sacca Fisola, Mazzorbo, there is also a "caorlina" of the vegetablke gardeners of Mestre. Today ten "Bissone" parade down the Grand Canal in the famous "Regata Storica" with the mythical names : Veneziana, Bizantina, Cinese, Floreale, ,Nettuno, Rezzonico, Querini, Cavalli. Two other boats take part which are greatly admired for their magnificence. The first is the largest "Bissona" that still exists in Venice today : it is the "Serenissima", propelled by eighteen rowers and a helmsman. In the prow sits the Gonfalone of Venice with the Heralds of the Serenissima, in their characteristic costumes, that attract attention with trumpet blasts and drum rolls. There are also various armed men on board who escort the "Captain of the Sea". Many mistake this splendid boat for the Bucintoro which, unfortunately, no longer exists. The other large boat is the "Gondolone" known as "La Dogaressa" : here sit the Doge, the Queen of Cyprus Caterina Cornaro and two Pages, all dressed in their ancient costumes. Two "Ballottine" with six oars also join in the parade. The expenses for the preparation of the event, the organisation of the whole display and the setting up of the "Machina" are all borne by the Municipality of Venice.

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