Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics
The "Regatta (Palio) of the Ancient Maritime Republics" is a competition on eight-oared galleons among the crews of the cities of Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice. The event was born in the postwar period and is organized every year at the beginning of the summer by turns in the four cities (June 6th-7th 2015 is the turn of Venice), combining a fascinating historical-cultural message with a spectacular competition. The regatta is always preceded by the solemn historical parade, famous for the precious costumes, that introduces the atmosphere of the competition.
The four cities are present with actors that wear colorful and precious costumes reproduced by ancient models, flags, trumpets and drums. Every group has the assignment to remember and to re-enact episodes and characters of the maritime history of its own city, and therefore of the whole Country and its role in the Mediterranean sea. A sea that unites the contenders and has a double meaning: once scenery of sour battles, but also net of communications and exchanges built by navigators, merchants, artists and scientists of the four Maritime Republics, it represents the most extraordinary example of interaction between different people and nations.
The sporting competition lies in the challenge between the rowing crews of the 4 cities, each one composed by 8 rowers and a helmsman, on board of fiberglass boats defined by different colors and by splendid figureheads: the winged horse of Amalfi, the dragon of Genoa that reminds the protector of the city St. George, the eagle of Pisa symbol of the ancient bond between the Republic and the Romano Empire, and the winged lion of Venice, that reminds St. Mark Evangelista, patron of the city. The first figurehead passing the finishing line, at the end of the course, wins a golden and silver trophy realized by the Scuola Orafa Fiorentina representing a galleon supported by 4 hippocampus and the coats of arms of the Four Republics. The trophy remains in the hands of the winning city for one year, being then put as the prize of the following Regatta.
The 2017 Regatta will be in Pisa, June the 18th.