(Venice, Italy) Today is Vogalonga here in Venice, and every year it reminds us how peaceful and serene the city is without motors, an ambiance that gave Venice her name, La Serenissima Repubblica, or The Most Serene Republic. What is Vogalonga?
"Vogalonga is a rowing "competition" in the Italian city of Venice.
On November 11, 1974 a group of Venetians, both amateur and professional rowers, had a race in the island of Burano. They came up with an idea of non-competitive "race" in which any kind of rowing boat could participate, in the spirit of historical festivities. The first Vogalonga began the next year with the message to protest against the growing use of powerboats in Venice and the swell damage they do to the historic city.
Participants gather in St Marks Basin in front of the ducal palace. They sing hymns to San Marco (Saint Mark) and begin the "race". The racecourse is scenic route 30 kilometers long along the various Venetian canals and historical buildings....
...The numbers of participants has swelled to thousands over the years from all over the world. Some locals have founded new rowing clubs and build their own boats based on real, historical watercraft. Some participants have brought their own kind of boats like the Chinese dragon boats. Some have also chosen to swim through the route instead of rowing...."
To me, Venice would be the perfect city to go "green," with hybrid boats that operated on solar/electric energy while inside the lagoon that could switch over to gas when more power is needed. And the roofs of the vaporetti, or water buses, seem like they are begging for solar panels!
This year's Vogalonga set a new record with 1,700 boats and as many as 7,000 rowers armed with oars.
|Photo: la Nuova di Venezia|
Ciao from La Serenissima,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog