Venice reenacts the welcome to Queen Caterina with a regatta

 

Every year, Venetians reenact the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus and Armenia, who renounced her throne in favor of Venice in 1489. The Serenissima received her with a lavish parade of regal ships and boats. Even though the regatta up the Grand Canal is now inspired in that historical event, the oldest references to a similar water procession date back to the 13th century, when the most powerful maritime republic of the time celebrated the “Festa del Mare,” or “Sea Feast.”