The maritime republics
The Palio of the Ancient Maritime Republics is the living and vibrant sign of the bond that exist between Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venezia and their primary element: water, which is still a
source of life and present-day wealth. The Regatta is a time when strength and the competitive spirit fuel the ancient pride that turns these men, these rowers , into the representatives of a whole world. It is their, as well as our own, identity that is symbolically represented in this competition and each crew brings to it its history and traditions.
Boats & Oars
The original boat, called “Galeone”, was designed and built by the shipwrights of the Cooperativa Gondolieri di Venezia shipyards in 1956. The choice fell on this galley like craft, one of the many designs proposed by the Citizens’ Committees, because it was wellsuited to historical reenactments and along the lines of the ancient ceremonial galleys or feluccas. The standard weight and measurements of the hull and the related tolerances were also set.
The vessel is designed for 8 rowers plus a coxswain, with benches for fixed seat rowing. The hull is in fact divided into eight sections, one for each athlete, with a seat, a footstretcher on which to lock their feet in place, and the oarlocks on the gunwale rotating to offer an efficient rowing stroke. In short, a long cry from the sleek lines of the fast and light craft of modern international sport rowing.
The ceremonial procession is obviously the most spectacular and choreographic part of the event. Each city contributes about 80 re-enactors to the historical
pageant that prepares the public to the climax of the race. The costumes are highly accurate period reproductions, many of which have become over time unique enough to be used today only in static museum exhibitions. More than 320 participants reenact the facts and events of the time, parading to the beat of drums, timpani, and horns, with the help of porters and horses.