The Vogalonga is a 30km rowing “race” through the city of Venice, the lagoon up to Burano island. All typologies of boats are accepted providing they are rowed or paddled boats. Even kayaks and the Chinese dragoon boats can participate. The first edition of Vogalonga took place in 1975 when a group of Venetians had the idea of a non-competitive race in the spirit of supporting the Venetian rowing tradition and also as a message against the growing use of engine boats and wave motion. No competition, no winners, just a big event and a commemorative medal to all participants.
Vogalonga is also a beautiful and colourful festival: thousands of boats from all other the world gather in the lagoon in front of Saint Mark’s square every year in May (2015 edition will take place on Sunday May 24th). After a cannon shot all boats start, reach the northern part of the lagoon, pass through Burano and Murano and back to Venice throughout the Cannaregio canal and Gran Canal. Hundred of people watch the event alongside the Gran Canal and from the islands of the lagoon. Many Venetians train all the year long in order to participate with their traditional boats!