Sunday, January 6, 2019

Witch- and Watercraft on the Grand Canal, This Morning

One of the most interesting boats on the water today was this gondola constructed of fruit crates that any customer of the Rialto Market will recognize (and anyone who stays in Venice for any longer than a few hours really should be a customer of the Rialto's produce or fish stands)

The Reale Società Canottieri Bucintoro celebrated today's Feast of the Epiphany with the 41st edition of its Regata de le Befane, featuring, as usual, five of its members dressed in the gear of the holiday witch who delivers sweets to the stockings of good children and coal to the bad.

It's nowhere near as long a race as the Regata Storica, nowhere near as big a production, and nowhere near as fiercely competitive, but the good feelings it inevitably conjures up among the crowds observing it from the Rialto Bridge and the Riva del Vin each January 6 make it an event worth attending.

Images of last year's race are here:

After holding off early challenges...

the regata's pink-shawled winner led from start to finish
The second, third and fourth place finishers acknowledge the cheers of viewers along the Riva del Vin...

followed by the winner of the regata with her/his bandiera rossa


  1. I've greatly enjoyed watching this when in Venice - and I remember last year, I think it was, and the pink shawled Befana. You jog my memories so well.

    1. The whole thing doesn't last for very long, and it's not very big, Ella, but the race and lead-up and concluding ceremonies always seem to brighten the day (at least for those who even notice them).