Regata Del Redentore
Regata Del Redentore Between 1575 and 1577 Venice was suffering from a dreadful outbreak of the plague. More than a third of the population died. In September 1576 the Senate voted to erect a church dedicated to Christ the Redeemer as an offering and a plea for divine help. The following year, in July, the city was finally declared free of disease, and so it was decided to celebrate Veniceâ€™s deliverance every year with a church service and festival. Part of the celebrations include the Regata Del Redentore â€” gondola racing. The competitors release themselves from the spagheto (starting rope) near the Church of the Redeemer and head four kilometres down the Giudecca Canal to round the paleto (pole) then row their way back to the starting line. There are several classes ranging from the Pupparini (the young gondoliers) to the Gondolini â€” Race of Champions. All vessels carry two oarsmen. Originally each gondola represented a different quarter of Venice, but things are less parochial these days. Although competition is still very serious. And fair enough . . . There are flags, prize money and prestige to be won!