What a glorious event! The Vogalonga is a relatively new experience for Venice; it started in 1974 as a kind of demonstration of the old ways of rowing without a motor, in reaction to the speeding and wake-making in the canals. The rowers leave From San Marco and row over 20 miles out into the lagoon and finish by coming into the Cannaregio canal and rowing through Venice.
We found a spot in some shade near the Guglie bridge. We got there around 11:00 and the boats had already started coming. We stayed for a little more than 2 hours and they never stopped. This year there were more than 1800 boats! And they were from all over Italy and other European countries. We had watched in 2010, too but it was smaller then.
There was every kind of rowing boat imaginable–one person kayaks to more than 20 people rowing together. Some seemed to be racing, pushing hard while others were just along for the ride. There were lots of crazy hats and funny decorations but most were just rowing. I took about a million pictures–here are a few:
These were kids from a rowing camp:
Here is the old style of Venetian rowing which the crowd seemed to love:
There were lots of boats filled with mostly women in pink–clubs comprise of cancer survivors, from all over Europe.
Look at the front of this boat:
The spirits were high–it was like Macy’ Parade and a major marathon rolled into one–and on the water, of course. We loved it!
Big lesson learned: never arrive or depart from Venice on the Vogalonga day. The public transportation stopped to clear the canals for the event–so there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people walking from the train station, with their luggage, to their hotels. Some looked less than thrilled to be here.
We came home and had a bunch of left overs for lunch. Did some grocery shopping at the Billa near the Frari which I didn’t like so much–there were no organic veggies and out of the cereal I like.
I made us an American-Italian dinner: pasta with red sauce and sauteed vegetables:
Then we walked over to the always buzzing Campo Santa Margherita to try out the gelato at Il Doge. Loved it! I got a flavor called Mediteranneo–almond ice cream with pistachios and some kind of sweet/tart citrus ribbon running through it.
Here’s the campo:


VogaLonga — 1 Comment

  1. In 2007 my friend Melody and I arrived in Venice on Vogalonga Day! But it was late in the afternoon and things were pretty much back to normal. Somewhere I have a photo of roses floating in the canal …