Boats worldwide take part in traditional rowing race in Venice

09:17, May 24, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

More than 1,600 boats from all over the world on Sunday took part in the 36th edition of Venice's traditional rowing festival known as the "Vogalonga".

Part of the city's sea traditions, the rowing marathon kicked- off early in the morning featuring 5,450 participants who passionately fought against the lagoon's powerful tide, which stands today as the main threat to Venice.

The Vogalonga is in fact much more than a simple sport event. It commemorates the Venetian people's ancient water culture and history blending global rowing zeal with a deep respect and fear of the surrounding sea.

This year, other than Venice's characteristic and colorful boats, traditional Viking, kayaks, Indian canoes and Polynesian vessels as well signed up for the marathon.

The 32-kilometer-path stretched from San Marco Square to the islands of Burano and St. Helen, which lie in front of Venice's historical center, and all the way back to the Grand Canal.

Thousands of tourists and sightseers crowded the bridges, piazzas and alleys of Venice. This edition was indeed particular -- for the first time a group of 50 rowers sailed all the way from the city of Turin along the Po River for one entire week to take part in the Vogalonga.

The Vogalonga festival has always been sponsored and promoted by Venice's authorities. In a statement Venetian mayor Giorgio Orsoni praised the event as symbolic of the city's "water soul" and capable of attracting global attention and participation.

"Its success lies in the fact that the Vogalonga links entertainment and sports to history, culture and local traditions. It represents the best recipe to boost Venice's tourism by involving all those who love the city," he observed.

The first edition of the Vogalonga rowing marathon was held in 1974.



  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • A visitor has flying experience in the windmill castle of Jinshitan National Holiday resort in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 27, 2011. The castle is a 23-meter-high building with 21 meters in diameter. The castle uses wind tunnel to make objects floating in the air. It is the first indoor stadium in China, which enables people to have flying experience. (Xinhua/Zhang Chunlei)
  • An Indian artist colours clay idols of Goddess Durga for the upcoming Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, capital of eastern Indian state West Bengal on Sept. 27, 2011. The festival celebrates the homecoming of Mother Goddess Durga and the victory of good over evil, dramatized by the goddess' demolition of the evil buffalo demon, Mahishasura. (Xinhua/Tumpa Mondal)
  • A model presents a creation of new upcoming designer Sergei Grinko at the Milan Fashion Week Women's Wear Spring/Summer 2012 in Milan, northern Italy, Sept. 27, 2011. The Milan fashion week closed on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)
  • Yu Guangyao (2nd R), president of Shanghai Shentong Metro Co., Ltd, bows his apology at a press conference on the subway trains collision accident happened Tuesday afternoon, in east China's Shanghai Municipality, Sept. 27, 2011. By 8:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) Tuesday, a total of 271 injured people in the accident have received medical treatment in hospitals, among them 180 have been dispatched. Other 61 injured people are still in hospital, in which 30 are under emergency observations. No critical injuries have been reported. (Xinhua/Chen Fei)
  • Children visit the Confucian temple in Tainan, southeast China's Taiwan, Sept. 27, 2011. A ceremony will be held at the temple to commemorate Confucius (551-479 BC) on Sept. 28, the birthday of the ancient Chinese thinker and educationist and the annual Teacher's Day of Taiwan in honor of him. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)
  • Fourth-grader Ma Lianghai (left) and third-grader Ma Linxiang are engrossed in their work during art class at Zhaojia Elementary School in Dongxiang, Gansu province, on Sept 18. (Photo by Xu Jingxing/China Daily)
Hot Forum Discussion