The Historical Palio

4337On June 12th ,a yearly boat race between the four Italian Maritime Republics that sailed the seas in medieval times is hosted, in turn, on the Mediterranean at Amalfi and Genoa, on the Arno in Pisa and on the lagoon in Venice, to commemorate the historical figures and memories of the four cities.

The idea of the Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics was realized in 1955 and the first edition took place in Genova. The constitutive act was signed at Amalfi on ecember 10, 1955.
The boats,called “galleons”, designed for eight rowers and a cox, represent the four seafaring Republics.
Each is marked by different colours and figureheads: deep blue with a winged horse for Amalfi; white with a winged dragon for Genoa; crimson with an eagle for Pisa; and emerald green the St. Mark’s Lion for Venice.
The launching took place at the Giardinetti ex Reali in the presence of the Patriarch of Venice, later to become Pope John XXIII.

The race is preceded by a historical pageant. Nearly 400 people in period costumes parade down Riva dei Sette Martiri and Riva degli Schiavoni, commemorating the deeds of the ancient republics.

Flags and festoons, trumpets and drums, horses and sedan-chairs add glamour to the solemn procession.


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