Italy Weekend: Vogalonga


Italy Weekend: Vogalonga

Duration :   3 Days 2 Nights
Max People :    20
Start Location:   Venice, Italy

Date Expired !

Italy Weekend: Vogalonga

In rowing travel circles, this event is legendary. How could it not be? Imagine Venice without motor boats for a morning. Thousands of rowed or paddled watercraft take to the waters for a 30 km “race”, which begins with a cannon shot from St. Mark’s Square. The route takes rowers through the lagoon to Burano, down to Murano and back along the famous canals to St. Marks to receive a participation medal. Rowers come from around the world, with quads, eights, various Venetian style rowing boats, plus kayaks, canoes, SUPs and anything else that moves forward with oars or paddles. Join us for a wonderful weekend in Venice and claim your Vogalonga story. Everyone has one.

Fun Facts And What To Expect

The history of the Vogalonga traces to 1974 with a first regatta of just a few traditional “mascarete” boats. The scope broadened the next year to allow any type of rowing boat and the event was billed as more a protest than a race. At issue was the growing number of motor boats in the lagoons and canals. It was not simply the sheer volume but also the impacts of the wakes on the historic structures and waterways. Now thousands of non-motorized water craft throng the winding 30+ km course, many sporting costumes, carrying picnic baskets or maybe pumping music from speakers. Organized chaos!

Our base for the Vogalonga 2024 is on Lido. We stay two nights in an excellent hotel a short walk from the vaporetti station. The rowing club on the island is where we and many others will launch from early in the morning. The warm-up row is to get to St. Mark’s Square before the cannon fires at 9 am, the official start. There is no timing and the point is to enjoy the experience of rowing through the highlights of Venice, a once a year opportunity. There is an advantage of being towards the front of the pack however. The last part of the race is through the Cannaeregio neighbourhood. The canal is narrow and everyone must pass under a bridge, one boat at a time. Frogmen control traffic but the wait can sometimes stretch to hours. Locals and tourists line the banks to watch the fun. Your boat will receive its package of medals and certificates, then a slow, cool down row back to Lido and a massive dinner celebration, perhaps with local specialties like grilled bream, sea bass, sole, and of course, loads of tasty and unusual pastas and risottos. Congratulations!

Trip Details

Price Per Person USD CAD EUR
Rower $1,645 $2,225 €1,495
Single Supplement $150 $200 €135
Fully-Independent Non Rower $800 $1090 €730
Difficulty & Daily Distances Boats Group Size


30 km + distance to and from start/finish – approximately 40 km

coxed coastal quads  Maximum is 20

We have a coastal double available, but requires an experienced bow person – contact us if you are interested.


  • Two nights’ accommodation in an excellent hotel on the Lido
  • Two breakfasts, one lunch and two dinners
  • Seat in one of our four coastal coxed quads, including transportation fee, oars and life jackets
  • Registration in the Vogalonga event
  • Guide services and tour support  by Catriona Cameron and a full support team
  • Snacks during the event

Schedule Details

Day 1

We meet in Venice! How romantic is that?! We meet over lunch to have a briefing and preparation for the tour. Then over to the rowing club to unload the trailer, prepare your boat and possibly go for a test row. Then you can check into the hotel. Evening is our welcome dinner. Yes, you can have prossecco and pasta if you wish.

Day 2

The official start of the Vogalonga is at 9 am. An early start is needed to have coffee and breakfast, launch the boats and row to St. Mark’s. A cannon starts the rowing! Of we go with about 1,800 other rowing shells, mascarete (traditional Venetian rowing), kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards. Each of our four boats will row at their own pace, being sure to take photos and enjoy the experience as you traverse lagoons and row through the canals of Burano and Murano. Following the distinctive Venetian route markers is essential, otherwise you might end up stuck on a sand bank! The grand finale is a return to the main island, into Canoreggio.  It gets really congested now as you row back to St. Mark’s and the finish line where you will receive your participation certificate and medal. Then a final row to Lido where helping hands will be waiting to help lift the boats from the water.  Time to celebrate that evening with our final dinner.  Congratulations!

Day 3

Linger in Venice for as long as you want. As you take the ferry back to the mainland, give a wistful glance to the busy waterways, and remember what it was like when rowing ruled these waters!


Can I book a private tour?
What other trips will be run in 2024??

What's Included

  • Accommodation
  • Coastal Coxed Quad
  • Event Registration
  • Guide Services
  • Meals
  • Snacks


  • Centre-based

Meet our guide

Catriona Cameron

British. Lived in Italy for over 25 years.

Started rowing at Canottieri Varese following in daughters' footsteps nearly 15 years ago. Club member and contact for visiting teams/clubs who book training camps in Varese.

Since 2010 involved in the organisation of all the major international rowing events held in Varese and coastal rowing events on Lake Maggiore....

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