The Historical Regatta is the main calendar date for annual « Voga alla Veneta » rowing events. It is a unique sport and has been practised for more than a thousand years in the Venetian lagoon. In modern times it has become more spectacular due to the famous water pageant held before the races: dozens and dozens of multicolours 16th century-style boats, all with oarsmen in period costume, carry the Doge, the Doge’s wife and all the highest ranking Venetian officials, as a true and faithful reconstruction of the glorious past of one of the Mediterranean’s most powerful and influential Maritime Republics. The ancient tradition of the Historical Regatta can be probably traced back to the mid 13th century when the Serenissima Republic needed to keep well trained the crews of its huge navy in the art of rowing.
Nowadays there are four races split by age group and type of boat: « Campionissimi su gondolini » is the most renowned and exciting race, where gondolini boats speed down the Grand Canal to the finishing line at the « machina », a VIP floating grandstand located in front of Ca’ Foscari Palace.