Come and join us for a spectacular long weekend in Venice, see the city from the water and compete in the annual world famous Vogalonga event.
The Vogalonga is a 30km paddling/rowing race through the city of Venice and the lagoon up to Burano. Almost all rowed or paddled boats can participate, and there’s even a separate category for kayaks. There are usually well over one thousands boats in the race, of many types. We will be participating in a dragon with up to 20 paddlers.
All participants are issued a diploma of participation. The Vogalonga is not a competitive race and there are no winners. It’s all about being there.
The Vogalonga is a splendid, fun and thoroughly worthy event which takes place once a year in Venice and its lagoon. It’s normally held on the last Sunday in May. Like a protest, a get-together and a non-competitive race rolled into one, this is an event where rowers take over the lagoon and canals. They oust the destructive motorboats which churn up the fragile lagoon ecosystem and damage Venice’s buildings, and for one morning the peace is disturbed only by the slap of oars, the shouts and songs of rowing teams and the applause of enthusiastic spectators.
Teams and individuals from the Veneto, from the rest of Italy and from many other countries join in and add to the party atmosphere. Spectators watch from any vantage point they can find, enjoying the entertainment and encouraging the tired rowers as they approach the final stretch along the Grand Canal. Some teams dress up in costumes, others, in the livery of their rowing clubs, raise their oars in salute. The atmosphere is jolly, with extra cheers for those who make a special effort, such as bringing an onboard bagpiper.
Cruise trip across the lagoon
To continue with the nautical theme, we will be sailing from the port near our hotel to the start of the event on the Jolly Roger, a Venetian galleon on which we have refreshments before sailing back to our accommodation at the end of the day.
As well as participating in the Vogalonga, the weekend is also about exploring the beautiful and historic city of Venice, a World Heritage site that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.