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Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics
May 31 - June 2Free
The Regatta (Palio) of the Ancient Maritime Republics is a competition on eight-oared galleons among the crews of the cities of Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice. The event is held in a different city each year, combining a fascinating historical and cultural message with a spectacular competition. These four cities have competed in the 2,000-meter race since 1956. Each of the four boats competing represents one of these “maritime republics,” with the sculpted figure head at the prow of the boat proudly declaring the boat’s alliance — the winged horse (for Amalfi), the winged dragon (Genoa), the eagle (Pisa) and the lion (Venice). Parades and revellers donning medieval garb top off the festivities! The regatta is always preceded by the solemn historical parade, famous for the precious costumes, that introduces the atmosphere of the competition.
The four cities are present with actors that wear colorful and precious costumes reproduced by ancient models, flags, trumpets and drums. Every group has the assignment to remember and to re-enact episodes and characters of the maritime history of its own city, and therefore of the whole country and its role in the Mediterranean sea. A sea that unites the contenders and has a double meaning: once scenery of sour battles, but also net of communications and exchanges built by navigators, merchants, artists and scientists of the four Maritime Republics, it represents the most extraordinary example of interaction between different people and nations.