Venetian rowing

Venetian rowing on Lake Garda is represented mainly and historically from bisse, typical fishing boats

Venetian rowing on Lake Garda is represented mainly and historically from bisse, typical fishing boats, handed down in ancient tradition, their origins dating back to the Repubblica Veneta. The bisse from that era were a direct derivaton of the venetian bissone.

The structure of the craft has remained substantially the same over the course of time. The boat with a flat bottom to meet minor resistance from the water carries four rowers who remain standing, in the venetian manor, with a technique aimed to amalgamate timing, balance and rythmn of the movements, being at the same time light but powerful. It is believed that the first Regata of Bisse on Garda took place in 1548: the chronciles of that time tell of  “Palio” which was held at Salò to salute the arrival of  “Clarissimus Provvisore" Stefano Tiepolo. 

The regatta has accompanied since then, historical events of elevation for the history of Garda and to the best rowers was reserved the honour of parading on the Grand Canal of Venice.  At the beginning of the XX  century a new interest and passion came about. The tradition was renewed from the years between 1924 and  1938 and personalities of great fame were beckoned and sustained the practice of rowing. Gabriele d'Annunzio was one of the more active supporters of the bisse and still today in the Museum of Lazise you can admire the beautiful trophy commissioned by the sculptor Colbertaldo.

In  1967, thanks to some fans from the towns of Lazise, Gargnano, Garda and e Bardolino, the practise of rowing on the lake restarted. In that year, the gardenese bisse participated at the  Regata Storica in Venice and in 1968 the "Lega Bisse del Garda" was founded, which since then continues to increase its commitment every year to the traditional Palio entitled "Bandiera del Lago". The Lega Bisse of Garda gathers together all the locally diffused groups on the bresciana and veronese sides of Lake Garda. Rowing schools exist in various towns where you can learn venetian rowing. For major information please consult the website www.legabissedelgarda.org.