THE HISTORICAL BOAT-RACE
One of the most important events in Venice is, with no doubt, the Regata Storica (Historical Regatta) : a sumptuous boat procession precedes the races performed by boats of the same kind (race of small gondolas and so on).
The first evidences related to rowing races date back to the middle of the thirteenth century even if it is possible that, in a town like Venice which has always faced the sea, such kind of race has more ancient origins, due to the necessity of training rowing crews.
The modern Historical Regatta and Boat-Rice was born in 1841, when the Town Council asked for holding some boat-races every year and the expenses for them were not debited to private citizens any longer but to the public. With the annexation of Venice to the Reign of Italy in 1866, contrarily to what had happened previously, the boat-races began to aim at the celebration of the glorious past of the Republic of the Veneto. From 1899, on a proposal of the Mayor of Venice, namely Count Filippo Grimani, the boat-race took on the name of ‘historical’.
The boat-race has been one of the favoured themes of the Vedutisti to represent a celebrating Venice. Today this is a deeply felt event, as a matter of fact on the day of the ‘Historical Boat-race’in Venice the basin of St. Mark and the Canal Grande are full of boats of any kind, from which people can watch the races and be enthusiastic fans of them. At the moment the most appreciated and exciting boat-race is the little gondolas one.