Date: September 6, 2016
Location: Venice Canals
It's hard to imagine Venice without gondolas, as they are one of the city's most treasured and unique set pieces. What some visitors may not know is that these boats can also compete in races! This festival is that realization, the king of all gondola races.
The event begins with a parade of 16th-century style vessels, in honor of the Queen of Cyprus giving up her throne to come to Venice. A famous boat named the Bucintoro leads them in this procession. The Bucintoro is followed by a number of costumed gondoliers carrying dignitaries from the Venetian Magistracy, in a re-enactment of beloved historical events.
If you are lucky enough to be able to commission a boat along the side of the canal, or even if you can just grab a space in the floating stands brought out for just this occasion, you can get a fine view of the parade. Attendees are advised to arrive early enough in the day to snag a spot with a decent view.
The Gondola Races
After the procession, there are four races, where the participants are split depending on the age and type of craft they are piloting. Most race watchers are there for the Campioni su Gondolini, which features a number of smaller, customized gondolas that are designed specifically for swift passage through the water.
To attend the event (at least where you can get a good seat) there is a fee, which ranges anywhere from €12.50 to €50 depending on your age and location of seating. More details can be found on the official site.
Photo credit: Pecold