The 85th Palio of the Gulf in La Spezia, Liguria

La Spezia, a city located in the Eastern Riviera of Liguria, gets ready for its 85th Palio of the Gulf, which this year will take place on Sunday 1st August 2010.

The ancient Palio of the Gulf is part of the many traditional events taking place in La Spezia, a town surrounded by mountains and the sea, and every year it takes place the 1st Sunday of August in front of the waterfront “Morin”.

The Palio is a challenging rowing race among 13 fishing boats handmade by local craftsmen, with peculiar features for making them faster in water.

Probably, it takes its origins from the challenge among the crews of fishing boats in the waters of the Gulf of La Spezia (or Gulf of the Poets), where there is mussels farming (or “muscoli” as the citizens call them).

In the past, such races were very important because the winner could have the priority in discharging goods and fish, rising in this way their profit.

And still nowadays, this challenge is very expected and beloved by all the citizens of La Spezia, especially by the borgate (districts and towns taking place in the competition): Porto Venere, Le Grazie, Fezzano, Cadimare, Marola, CRDD (Circolo ricreativo dipendenti difesa), Canaletto, Fossamastra, Muggiano, San Terenzo, Venere Azzurra, Lerici and Tellaro.

However, the Palio is more than a race, is the heart of the city, is culture, art and many events scheduled in the works:

On 23rd July at 8.30 pm: inauguration of Villaggio del Palio, along the waterfront Morin and the exhibition “Sommergibili nel Golfo” created by The Historical Maritime Society.

From Saturday 24th to 28th July at 9 pm: five evenings of debates dedicated to the sea for making the public aware of climate change and the safeguard of the environment. The presence of Dario Vergassola is scheduled for such evenings.

In addition, from 28th July to 1st August there will be the Summer National Games “Special Olympics” of rowing, with crews, made up of athletes with or without intellectual disability.

The Palio of the Gulf in La Spezia will start on Sunday 1st August at about 7.30 pm: two thousands meters in about 10 minutes. The day will end up with fantastic fireworks at 10.30 pm.

La Spezia in Liguria waits for you in great numbers to watch the 85th Palio of the Gulf and enjoy the several events organized by the city.

For further information about Liguria, beaches in Liguria, islands in Liguria and much more, visit our travel guide to Liguria: www.aboutliguria.com

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