Venice sailing regatta

By Marilyn Hill
This item appears on page 50 of the December 2016 issue.

During my 2016 visit to Venice, Italy, on Sunday, May 15, I sat for two hours underneath the Ponte della Costituzione bridge, near a train station, watching longboats on the Grand Canal participate in the city’s 42nd annual Vogalonga Regatta (

One of our own Portland dragon boats had been practicing all year on the Willamette River in preparation for this annual regatta. During the 30-kilometer race, hundreds of boats are paddled around Murano, Burano and other small islands and along the perimeter of Venice. 

In 2017, the Vogalonga Regatta is scheduled for Sunday, June 4.

Known as a lagoon rowing marathon, this is one of the most popular noncompetitive regattas of the year. But a young hotel manager, a native of Venice, told me the spectacular competitive race between gondolieri (gondolier boatmen) is even more popular. In 2016, that race was held Sept. 4.


Portland, OR