Sunday, 31 May 2015

Voga Longa - Venice 2015 - Trearchi Bridge

It was the morning of Sunday 24th May 2015 on our last day in Italy. We took a walk to the Grand Canal and all was quiet.  There were no boats chugging along with engines spluttering, no water buses and no water taxis. 

Every now and then a small group of spectators next to the Rialto bridge clapped as a boat went past rowed steadily by a small team.  It took us a while but eventually we realized that there was some sort of festival taking place. We decided to ask at the waterbus ticket office how we could get to the airport at lunchtime.  The rather sharp, but actually quite helpful lady, said that all of the transport in the city was stopped until 15:30 during the Voga Longa, a 30 km rowing race, and suggested that we could leave from Madonna Dell Orto on the North side of the island where there were still boats running.

So we set off, from near the Frari church, trundling our suitcases across Venice.  Needless to say we made a mistake and didn't cross at the Guglie bridge, so we found ourselves at Trearchi. It was a fortunate error because we stumbled onto the amazing scene below, where every rowing boat in Venice seemed to be trying to get under the bridge.  There were water police with boat hooks pushing and shoving. There was even a frogman in an orange suit in the water trying to help the boats through! If we'd taken the right bridge we would have missed it all! 

Venice is full of surprises!

Click to enlarge

The congestion at the Trearchi bridge has to be heard as well as seen!  
Turn up the sound to get the full chaotic effect!


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