Friday, June 10, 2011

The Day the Singing Stops on the Grand Canal

When is a Venetian gondolier too busy to sing “O Sole Mio”?
When he is rounding the paleto (turning post) at the Regata Storica.

Venice is generally associated with a romantically slow and easy pace, strolling across the Bridge of Sighs, or gliding along the Grand Canal. But for one day each year, Venice is all about speed.

The Regata Storica is a tradition that goes back to the early Middle Ages, if not further. The first documentation of the event dates to the 13th century, a time when the boat races were connected to religious festivities. Since then, the spectacle of the regatta has been captured by countless artists throughout the centuries. Among the most famous renditions are owed to Canaletto.

Several different events make up the Regata Storica, but it is the race of the gondoliers that truly gets local and tourist blood flowing. There is no serenading to be heard here over the shouting of the crowd as the boats are propelled through St Mark’s Bay.

For those who have come to Italy to slow down, the pageantry of the Water Parade might be a better choice. Here, historical ships can be admired, complete with costumed gondoliers and local officials.

Venice is truly a city where past and present are intertwined, where tradition and architecture keep history alive. When the excitement on the water has subsided, visitors can choose from a wide variety of musical events in Venice that highlight this fascinating aspect of the city. Whether it's Baroque music in a period church or opera arias in an elegant Palazzo on the Grand Canal.

And when the racing is over, you'll be sure to hear talented goldoliers singing familiar melodies as they guide their boats through the city.

This year's Regata Storica takes place on Sunday, September 4.
Through July 31st, 2011, Classictic offers
10% off tickets purchased with the promotional code "Venetian".

No comments: