The Burano's Regatta
The "voga alla veneta" (Venetian rowing) in Burano has a centuries-old tradition: it was the most efficient way to transport the fish to nearby islands and to Venice, before the invention of the motor.
Today this art is practiced exclusively for sport and is deeply felt in the Venetian lagoon, as well as the "Burano Regatta", considered by athletes, fans and enthusiasts as the "Rematch of the Historical Regatta".
While this takes place on the first Sunday of September, the Burano Regatta is organized on the third Sunday of September.
That day the people living in the island, wrapped in a festive atmosphere, are preparing to welcome tourists and residents of the nearby islands with typical manifestations organized by various associations of Burano, music and outdoor dining areas.
On this occasion, as well as in the many restaurants of Burano, you can taste delicious fried fish in the stands located in the Balsassarre Galuppi square, near the Church of St. Martin Bishop.
The Burano Regatta takes place on mascarete with two oars for women and on two-oared gondolas for men.
The boats in the race match in the waters in front of the island and the event is visible from the same shore where is located the ACTV ferry landing.
Burano's Regatta Program for the year 2017
This year, even if the Burano's Regatta will take place on Sunday 19th September the festivities will last two days, with the following appointments:
Sunday 19th September
- 16.00 Youngsters Regatta on "pupparini" with two oars;
- 16.45 Women Regatta on "pupparini" with two oars;
- 17.30 Men Regatta on gondolas with two oars;
Burano's waterbus variations
On the occasion of the Burano's Regattas of Sunday 19th September 2015, some departures of the ACTV line 12 will undergo the following suspensions or limitations:
From Venice Fondamente Nove to Burano: the departures from 14.50 to 17.30 are limited to Mazzorbo.
From Burano to Venice Fondamente Nove: from 15.44 to 18.24; the waterbus will run regularly from Mazzorbo as written in the standard timetable.
From Burano to Treporti - P. Sabbioni: from 15.56 to 17.56.
From Burano to Torcello: from 15.32 to 18.12.
From Torcello to Burano: from 15.37 to 18.17.
From Punta Sabbioni to Burano: from 15.30 (while only the departures of 15.55 and 17.30 will be limited to Treporti).
From Treporti to Burano: from 15.44 to 17.44.
Unless delays in carrying of the regattas, the links will be regular with the following departures:
From Fondamente Nove to Burano and Treporti: 17.50.
From Burano to Fondamente Nove: 18.44.
From Burano to Treporti-P.Sabbioni: 18.26.
From Punta Sabbioni to Burano: 17.55.
From Treporti to Burano: 18.10.
From Burano to Torcello: 18.32.
From Torcello to Burano: 18.37.
All other departures will be regular.
Historical Notes about Venetian Regattas
The Veneto style rowing was practiced by the Venetians since the times of the Maritime Republic to pass the free time.
Speed races with different regulations based on the distances and duration were organized.
It is not clear when the real races began to take place but, according to some scholars, the origin could date back to 942, when something similar to the Rape of the Sabine happened: during a popular festival a group of pirates kidnapped some Venetian women but they were soon chased by Venetians who, rowing fast, liberated the young women kidnapped.
This episode gave rise to the "Festa delle Marie", a feast celebrated with a regatta.
The regattas became soon a source of pride for Venice, which was increasing the prestige and the commercial and military power of the Venetian Republic.
The public authorities of the thirteenth century began to encourage the Veneto style rowing and the various regattas also to prepare crews for the sea battles and for supporting efforts in case of conflicts on the sea.
Typically, the races took place in the open lagoon and only exceptionally took place along the Grand Canal.
During the 13th and the 14th centuries the races were organized by the Compagnie della Calza.
Since 1631 the Council of Ten decided that only the State could have the exclusive right to organize the regattas, giving a proxy license to individuals who should have been provided also to cover the organizational costs. Then from 1687, the delegation was given to the noble families and to the guilds.
The regattas continued after the fall of the Venetian Republic, under French domination, too. One was organized on July 14 and September 18 on the occasion of the visit to Venice of Josephine Beauharnais, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Another race was organized in 1807 in honor of Napoleon visiting the city.
In 1815, with the passage of Venice under the Austrians, racing was resumed with more vigor, so much so that in 1841 was regulated an annual regatta along the Canal Grande, organized with rules similar to the ones of today: there was a limit to the number of participating boats (7/9) and it was decided that all gondolas would be identical and supplied directly by the municipality.
Later in 1843 it was introduced the staining to distinguish the crews.
The regatta was interrupted in 1848 after the insurrection of the city, but resumed in 1866 when Venice was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.
In 1875 it was determined that the number of participating boats had to be nine.
While in 1892 it was determined the color scheme for the boats, with the annexation of the city to the Italian Kingdom, the flags were changed to red for the first, white for the second, green for the third (in honor to the Italian flag) and blue for the fourth (in honor of the House of Savoy).
The appellation "Historical" was introduced in 1899, proposed by the mayor Filippo Grimani, who inserted the race in the context of the third Biennale's events.
In the same year he was also proposed the historical opening cortege, consisting of parade boats, reconstructed on the basis of vintage drawings and prints.
It was only after Second World War, which the cortege was associated to the evocation of the Caterina Cornaro's arrival in Venice, Queen of Cyprus.
In 1925, the Historical Regatta, under the Fascist domination was called "Race Fascist" (only for the that year) and gondolas was used instead of "gondolini".
In 1928 it became mandatory for the competitors to be enrolled in fascist organizations, military or trade union.
In 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, the race was suspended (the only exception was made for the year 1942 when it was organized by the film company "Sol" as part of the film "Grand Canal") and resumed in 1946 after the fall of Fascism: only on this occasion it was called "Regatta of the Liberation".
Since that time it had no more interruptions, mantaining the name of "Regata Storica".