The Palio del Golfo

1 March 2015


The "Palio del Golfo" of La Spezia, which takes place every year on the first Sunday in August in the waters along the promenade Morin, is a rowing race between 13 boats "type hulls", similar to typical Ligurian goiter, but handmade by local artisans with unique features that make them more agile and fast.

The "Palio" has its origins in the maritime culture of the people of the Gulf. The Palio was born as a challenge between boats’crews loaded with fish or the ancient so-called "black gold" of the Gulf of La Spezia as to say mussels. They were major challenges as the victory was not sporty but then allowed to download the fish in the dock before the others, so increasing the possibility of profit.

Even today, it is followed with passion by all citizens, and especially by the inhabitants of the Townships which are nowadays renowned modern villages bordering the sea: Portovenere, Le Grazie, Fezzano, Cadimare, Marola, CRDD (social club of the employees of the defense), Canaletto, Fossamastra, Muggiano, San Terenzo, Venere Azzurra, Lerici and Tellaro.

The rowing challenge is the main event of the Festival of the Sea, which involves the city of La Spezia for 3 days. It begins with the boisterous parade of all the villages with their boats and floats through the streets of the city, arriving at the Town Hall, where the Mayor receives from the township winner of the Palio of the year before the banner that the Mayor will return then to the winner of the race.
Before the race starts there is the traditional launch of paratroopers acrobatic department (COM.SUB.IN)  of the Italian Navy based in Le Grazie and the commemoration of the sea war dead, with the launch of a wreath into the waters of the Gulf followed by the "silence", performed by the Navy bugler.

The celebration ends on Sunday evening on the promenade by the sea where thousands of people assist to a beautiful fireworks display.

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