Tuesday, September 4, 2012 2:50 pm EST

Regata Storica di Venezia
On the first Sunday of September the Historical Regatta ("Regata Storica") takes place in Venezia.

The Regatta is a competition between Venetian boats watched by thousands of people from the banks or from floating stands.

Competitions are preceded by a historical parade ("Corteo Storico") remembering the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus in 1489, after she renounced her throne in favour of Venice.

The Corteo Storico is a procession of 15th century style boats with gondoliers in costumes with the famous Bucentaur (Bucintoro), the boat representing the Serenissima (the doge's state), at its head.

The traditional reference points of the Regatta are:

- the spagheto or cordin, the rope stretched across the starting point in front of the Public Gardens;

- the paleto, a pole driven into the centre of the Grand Canal in front of the Church of Sant'Andrea della Zirada, around which the boats must turn before going back up the course (the first boats round the paleto are traditionally those which take the pennants awarded to the winners);

- the machina, a construction erected on a richly carved, painted and gilded wooden raft, which marks the finish of the race and on which the prize-giving ceremonies are held.

Notice that all the words just listed, are spelled in Venetian dialect.

For more information about this event check out its official website (of course, in Italian as well) or watch the Regata as it was aired in Italy last Sunday, September 2nd, on RAI here