Today we went rowing in Venice. Is a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Tag: Voga alla Veneta
The new regulations banning kayaks, canoes and dragon boats will affect quite a few clubs and activities in Venice.
The association Venice Canoe & Dragon takes (or rather, has taken) school kids in dragon boats through the city. Until now they have done so for 9000 kids, but that is a thing of the past now. Now the kids cannot experience the city on water from the water any more, unless they take a taxi.
The Pink Lionesses of Venice is an association for women who are survivors of breast cancer. Their pink dragon boat was once a common sight on the Grand Canal, but they too will have to paddle elsewhere.
Several of the rowing clubs based on the mainland will no longer be able to row or paddle in the Grand Canal. This also seems to apply to Venetian rowing, if the club is not based in Venice city or on the lagoon islands. This will affect the Società Canottieri Mestre and, I believe, the Voga Veneta Mestre, both well respected members of the Venetian rowing community.
All the individuals, clubs, associations and companies from outside Venice, that used to do the occasional tour to Venice in kayak, canoe or dragon boat will now face a fine if they venture onto the Grand Canal or any of the no-go canals in the future.
Due to the massive exodus from Venice towards the mainland during the last decades, there are actually more Venetians living in Mestre and Marghera than in Venice proper, and they will now be excluded from experiencing their native city as it was always intended, in a rowed by from the water.
At a cultural level, this new ban in a blow to the heart of everything that is Venetian.
My company Venice Kayak will at least be impeded by the published ban on kayaking on the Grand Canal, but we will probably be less hurt than the others, since we can still use some of the smaller canals in the city, where dragon boats cannot go.
Waiting for the Carnival procession on the Canal Grande at the traghetto San Samuele we enjoyed the view of two gondolieri practising the manoeuvres they need to do the operate the traghetto. They needed to turn the boat repeatedly and fast, to navigate the current […]
Antonio Vivaldi, the composer from the 18th century who wrote The Four Seasons, also wrote operas to be performed in Venetian theatres. They were rather modern for their time, and one of Vivaldi’s critics published a pamphlet against him, called “Il teatro alla moda“, which has an interesting incision on the cover.
It shows a small Venetian boat with a man rowing alla valesana. The rower is not a poor man, but dressed according to the fashion of the time.
What I find particularly interesting here, is that it shows that for a respectable and prosperous man, rowing around the city of Venice was as natural as riding a horse anywhere else.