Organised by a group of friends for the first time in 1974, the Vogalonga (long row) is a non-competitive race that celebrates Venice’s signature stand-up rowing style and protests the damage done to the foundations of the city by speeding motorboats. It is “an act of love towards Venice and its lagoon,” explains Antonio Rosasalva in the official Vogalonga 2015 video.
The 30km race is usually held on a blissfully sunny day in May and “participation has now grown to over 1800 colorful boats and more than 6600 even more colourful rowers and paddlers not only from Venice, but from all over Italy and the world,” explains A Blog About Venice. Pretty much any kind of rowing craft can take part and all motorised transport (including public transport) is banned from the lagoon for the day.
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