Regatta of the Ancient Marine Republics
The medieval maritime republics of Venice, Genoa, Pisa and Amalfi resume old hostilities during the fiercely contested, colourful palio scheduled to be held on the Divine Coast.
An annual event like no other, set against the backdrop of the crystalline waters that bathe the Amalfi Coast. This year, the prestigious 61st annual Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics will be held on the Divine Coast. An event established in 1955 to celebrate the Republic’s long-lost glory. Four galleons, each painted with the dominant colours of their Republic (blue for Amalfi, white for Genoa, red for Pisa and green for Venice) battle it out on a 200 metre course on the stretch of water between Capo di Vettica and Marina Grande, in Amalfi. The fact that the competition takes place on the open sea makes it even more exciting and unpredictable, due to changeable currents and weather conditions that are often uncertain. The crews, consisting of eight rowers, two reserves and a coxswain, brave the sea on board craft which though built along the lines of their 12th century counterparts are now crafted in fiberglass, representing a perfect combination of the past and the future. An event that though particularly dear to Amalfi locals is also an absolute must-see for tourists, who will find themselves absolutely riveted by this one-of-a-kind event. The regatta begins with a solemn historical procession embodying four hundred years of history, summarized in four significant episodes. Amidst weddings and battles, conquests and dominations, the four cities re-enact the most glorious moments of their history. Three-hundred-and twenty costumed actors, 80 for each Republic, parade along the streets from Atrani to Amalfi while re-enacting significant events, from the year 1000 to the beginning of the 1500s. The Regatta is the highlight of a weekend packed with sporting and cultural events and performances. Boasting 33 victories, Venice ranks number one with the largest number of championship titles, followed by Amalfi with 10 victories, while Genoa and Pisa lag behind with only 8 wins.