Monday, June 8, 2015

Images from the 60th Regata delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare Italiane, Yesterday

Amalfi leads the procession of the four republics into Piazza San Marco
Every year since 1956 the four old seafaring republics of Italy--Venice, Genova, Pisa, and Amalfi--have been getting to together to compete with each other in wooden galleys constructed along the lines of a 12th-century model and rowed by eight men on a straight 2 kilometer course.

Typically the site of the race rotates annually among the four old republics--though nine times it has been held elsewhere (as far away as London in 1983, as you can read here: This year the race returned to Venice, where the host city--for the 33rd time overall--swept to a decisive victory. A few images of which appear at the bottom of this post.

But before the race there is always a corteo, a long procession of representatives from each old republic dressed in 15th-century garb. As it's a bit easier to take up a position in close proximity to this action than it is to that of the race--which runs from Sant' Elena to the bacino of San Marco--most of the images for this post are of regalia rather than rowing.

Four years ago, oddly enough, I myself was among the paraders, arrayed as a Venetian nobleman. By the following year (in Amalfi) the rightful possessor of the velvet doublet and mantle and hose and pointy shoes and excruciatingly ill-fitting hat I'd worn for that one day during the 56th Regata reclaimed his customary place in the procession and, usurper that I was, I found myself a commoner once more. Where I have remained ever since.

But if you'd like to read my behind-the-scenes account of my temporary elevation to Venetian patrician status and what I learned from it (such as the perhaps apocryphal old saying, "Don't worry too much about your tights 'cuz it's the hat that will kill you")  you'll find it here:

Hi-ho, hi-ho...
For those Venetians with very long memories the sight of Genovesi marching into Piazza San Marco isn't a pleasant one...
...though some members of the contingent might be rather welcome

La Dogaressa di Venezia is carried past the church of San Marco

Venice maintains its lead, with the white boat of Genova and the blue of Amalfi in third and second, respectively
Venice crosses the finish line of orange buoys
In the busy basin of San Marco, Venice's helmsman celebrates victory with some flag-waving


  1. I like the Pisan and Genovan guys in minidresses. Sexy...!

    1. And the Genovesi with what appears almost like spangly silver tights beneath, Brigitte! Flowers of fashion (at least 15th-century fashion) for sure.

  2. Love this, stunning pictures!~. I write on Italy too.

    1. Thanks, I.S., and thanks for letting me know about your blog, which I think is really interesting. I look forward to exploring more of your posts, but already I think Castello di Montegiove looks like a place I'd really like to go.