The yearly calendar of Venice is replete with regattas, but Vogalonga seems to be one of the most popular of all boat races held in the lagoon. As a rule, it is held in the same period with the symbolic Festa della Sensa. It’s not only the spectacular side of the boat processions and races that draws the public, but also the motivation which pushed the setting up of this already traditional event (its first edition was held in 1975): the plea and the attempt to sensitize the general public to the wholesome character of un-motorized water traffic in the Venetian lagoon, famed for its frail and yet resilient traffic infrastructure, constantly threatened by the motorized waterborne vehicles.

Thousands of participants support the cause underlying the philosophy of Vogalonga, such that the event results in one of the widest mobilizations of water sports lovers in Venice. The race, while not exclusively focusing on the demonstrative objective, is a delightful sight for both the public and the participants: hundreds (thousands even) of vessels (kayaks, sandoli – fishermen boats – fours and eights) slide from Venice to Burano and back. The rowers are allowed to perform at their own pace, such that some of the vessels need up to 5 hours to finish the race, but the bottom line is Vogalonga, while it does feature a competitive character, is designed to make the participants and the public enjoy to the full the pleasure of moving around throughout the Venetian Lagoon without the pressure of time and to rediscover the virtues of the traditional, obsolete even, means of transport, or of those with a notable environment-friendly character.

In order to learn more about the history of Vogalonga, about all its coordinates, programs and adjoining events, follow the indications below:

Venice, Italy
late May to early June
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