The Regata Storica is the centerpiece of the Venetian rowing calendar. A colourful historic water pageant precedes 4 races on Venice's canals. It is one of the most important traditional events in Venice. It takes place every first Sunday of September. The event consists of 2 parts: a historical boat parade and a series of rowing races.

The participating boats do not only have a number, but – since 1843 – they are also painted in bright colors. They are repainted every year to avoid superstition that a certain color would always be winning. The colors make it easy to recognize them from far away and makes the whole event even more festive.

The regata ‘bandieri’ (flags) are the prize every Venetian rower dreams of. The colors for the first 3 rowers correspond to the Italian flag: red for the winner, white for second place and green for third place. There is also a blue flag for the fourth team. The brothers Rudy and Igor Vignotto hold the record with 19 bandieri, of which 10 red, 7 white, 1 green and 1 blue.

The brightly colored historical parade consists of tens of 16th century-style boats. The costumed rowers carry the Doge, the Doge’s wife and all the highest ranking Venetian officials up the Canal Grande. It commemorates the welcome of Caterina Cornaro in 1489, the wife of the King of Cyprus, who renounced her throne in favour of Venice.

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