ROWING RACE LA SPEZIA * ITALY 2015 MAXIMUM CARD

$10.00

Country: ITALY

Condition: ROWING RACE LA SPEZIA * ITALY 2015 MAXIMUM CARD

Item Id #: 13329

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Description

COLORFUL ROWING RACE OF THE ROMANTIC LIGURIAN RIVIERA CELEBRATES ITS 90th ANNIVERSARY WITH A SPECIAL STAMP
By Giorgio Migliavacca (copyright)
On 1 August 2015 Italian Posts issued a € 0.95 definitive stamp for the “Traditional Events” series celebrating the La Spezia Gulf Rowing Race held on the first Sunday of August each year on its 90th anniversary. La Spezia is located between Genoa and Pisa towards the eastern end of the Ligurian Riviera.
Started on a regular basis in 1925, the Rowing Race first took place in 1878 to celebrate the launch of the Royal Navy Ship “Dandolo”. The race is part of the Festival of the Sea and takes place at La Spezia’s harbour. Boats, whose crews consist of four rowers and a coxswain, cover a total distance of two kilometers, reaching three times the buoys that mark the race course, in a time of just over ten minutes. Thirteen teams representing as many neighboring small towns and villages take part in the “Palio del Golfo” (Prize of the Gulf); the winner of 2015 was the team from Fezzano – a village of 950 people near Porto Venere (Venus’s Port….more later). This was the fifth time the Fezzano team went home with the ensign of the popular Festival.
The traditional launch of acrobatic paratroopers of the Italian Navy cheers the public and competing teams; the spectacular prelude includes the launch of a wreath into the waters of the Gulf in remembrance of the fallen of the sea – this touching moment is followed by a minute of silence since many spectators have a family member who died at sea while serving the nation. The Navy bugler concludes by playing the “Silence”. Then all vessels and their crews are saluted by trumpet blasts. After sunset the Festival comes to a spectacular end with a mesmerizing fireworks display.
Massimo Federici, Mayor of La Spezia expressed his delight at the announcement of the special stamp issued on the very day of the Palio. He said the stamp gives national and international exposure to the event that involves teams from local pictoresque villages and has its undeniable cultural and folkloric facets.
The stamp captures a moment of the Rowing Race; at top right is the ensign of the event that is awarded to the team of the winning village.
The La Spezia Gulf is three miles in length and is nicknamed the Poets Gulf owing to the fact that a number of prominent figures of literature such as George Sand, David H. Lawrence, Gabriele D’Annunzio, playwright Sem Benelli, poet Lord Byron, lived or resided in the area, and mention must be made of Percy B. Shelley who died in these waters. The celebrated J.M. William Turner did a number of etchings depicting the Gulf; Botticelli is said to have chosen this gulf as a background to his famous “Birth of Venus”.

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