Last Sunday, July 16, I attended the Redentore regatta at Giudecca. First the pupperini rowed by the youngsters got the crowd started, with Giacomo Marangon and Simone Vecchiato taking first. (What great names, right? Marangon is the name of the great bell in the Campanile that called arsenale workers to their shifts, while Vecchiato is a name for an old man, not a young one.) The rosa (pink) boat pulled in quite late after the others, but the crowd still clapped and cheered heartily for them, yelling “Bravi! Bravi!” I was rooting for the canarin (yellow) boat because it was rowed by a Busetto, and I know a member of the family, but they were not flag winners for the day.
Next came the men in pupperini. The winning flag went to Guglielmo Marzi and Gabriele Lazzarini in the red boat. They wore their red handkerchiefs on their heads like pirates. I was cheering on the rosa boat, again oared by a Busetto, but my friend Bea rooted for the pirates and they were the winners.
Alas, though, I did not pick the Busetto boat in the gondola races, not because I’m a traitor, but I couldn’t help but root for Igor, the former partner of SuperD’Este. Igor and Rudi Vignotto took first place, and after them–the rest of the pack. The Vignotto cousins won big, easily pulling away from the one contender, the white gondola rowed by Andrea Ortica and Jacopo Vianello, who had briefly pulled up alongside them. The winning rosa (pink) gondola sped by in great form, though the cousins dropped to their knees after crossing the finish line.
This year there were no false starts, broken forcole, or temper tantrums. But the spritz boat was back! The crowds were thick, and I never did get a free spritz. The boat was rockin’ and so was the band, definitely a fun part of the festa. We marveled at how the baristi could mix drinks while the boat rocked and the leaves kept hitting them on their heads.