On Sunday, February 5 at 11.00 AM the masked water parade of the Coordinamento delle Associazioni Remiere di Voga alla Veneta returns. On the water a hundred or so boats led by the legendary “Pantegana”, ready to burst out amidst music and confetti in front of the Rialto Bridge.
A unique parade of colours, decorations and masked figures will ply the waters of the Grand Canal, evoking the Venetian rowing tradition and singing typical Venetian folk songs. After the Opening Parade “Original Dreamers”, which this evening (Saturday 4 February at 8 PM) will officially open the 2023 Venice Carnival, the bursting of the mythical “Pantegana” will characterise the second event of “Take Your Time For The Original Signs”, under the banner of tradition and Venetian spirit.
In collaboration with the Coordinamento delle Associazioni Remiere di Voga alla Veneta (Coordination of the Venetian Rowing Associations), starting at 11 AM a hundred or so decorated rowing boats will set off from Punta della Dogana to arrive at Rialto after going along the Grand Canal, captained by a caorlina that will carry the 7-metre-long papier-mâché “Pantegana”, which has now become one of the symbols of the popular Venetian Carnival. Just before the Rialto Bridge, the Pantegana will symbolically open in a blaze of confetti, streamers, coloured smoke, and biodegradable balloons that will hover in the air, thus officially kicking off the carnival celebrations.
“Carnival is back in attendance and I hope that all the boats in the procession will be colourfully decorated with masked rowers in full regalia”, explains Councillor Giovanni Giusto, who personally sculpted the Pantegana and kicked off this event 25 years ago. “Along the Grand Canal, typical Venetian songs will resound, and in front of the Rialto Bridge, when the papier-mâché Pantegana will burst out, we will sing the hymn to St. Mark. The festival will then end in Campo dell’Erbaria, where tradition has it that our story began. A special jury will award prizes to the funniest and best-decorated boats, and the day will continue amidst dancing, music, singing and typical Venetian dishes, from bigoli in salsa to the inevitable frittelle”.
The festival will then end in Campo dell’Erbaria, amid traditional Venetian food and wine dishes, music and lots of fun.
On the occasion of the water parade, ACTV waterlines 1 and 2 will be modified. As far as line 1 is concerned, an extraordinary service will be set up during the event, with a route from P.le Roma – Tronchetto Mercato – Tronchetto – S. Basilio (replacing the Ca’ Rezzonico stop) – Zattere (replacing the Accademia stop) – Spirito Santo (replacing the Salute stop) – S. Marco – S. Zaccaria – Arsenale – Giardini – S. Elena – Lido S.M.E. and vice versa. The last regular service from P.le Roma to Canal Grande is at 9.57 AM, while from 10.09 AM to 11.45 AM services run on the above route. The first regular service is at 11.57 AM. In the opposite direction, last regular service from Lido S.M.E. at 10.20 AM, while from 10.32 AM to 11.20 AM services run the above route. The first regular service is at 11.32 AM.
Concerning line 2, during the event, the service terminates at P.le Roma, omitting the section P.le Roma – Ferrovia – S. Marcuola – Rialto – S. Tomà – S. Samuele – Accademia – S. Marco Giardinetti and vice versa. Last regular service from S. Zaccaria for the entire route at 9.25 AM, from 9.37 to 11.13 AM limited services to P.le Roma, first regular service at 11.25 AM. Last regular service from S. Marco Giardinetti for the entire route at 10.31 AM, suspended departures from 10.43 to 11.43 AM (services depart from P.le Roma terminus from 11.16 AM to 12.16 PM), first regular service at 11.55 AM.