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Late May Row-a-thon

Vogalunga on the Grand Canal

This great non-competitve regatta started in 1974, when a bunch of rowing aficionado friends got together and decided to race to Burano and back as a protest against the motor boats that were damaging Venice's buildings with their swell. It has been growing like topsy ever since: for one day in late May, motorized craft are banned and Venice is taken over by rowers from around the world, from one-person kayaks to stately barges.

The course starts in front of the Palazzo Ducale in St Mark's Basin, with songs in honour St Mark, then covers 32km course to Burano and back taking in through the most picturesque parts of Venice before ending along the Grand Canal. Registration opens a few months prior to the event on the offical website; one way to participate is to reserve a kayak via Venice Kayak.

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Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls