Everything is ready, or almost, given that this year the unknown factor on who will win the coveted patch is concrete. This is the main event of the La Spezia summer, the one that involves all the communities of the gulf, the one that represents the local tradition. A rowing race, on boats made by artisans, where only those arriving first in front of the city's main pier count. A real speed struggle, once lived in a way that was too bloody, but still felt in the deepest soul of those who live this day with a spirit of belonging and a bond with their own reality.
Impossible, after years of predictable victories, to make a prediction based on something concrete, however, the new rules that have mixed the cards between the various crews and the season swinging does not guarantee anyone to mortgage the podium. The Borgate di Cadimare, Canaletto and Fossamasta lead the provincial rowing championship, but in the world of the Palio it counts for little. The Marola is emerging, while Fezzano and Muggiano are still in the running for a final thrust.
In the female and junior categories, the issue is a bit different, in fact in the penultimate competition prepalium, the girls of Graces and the youngsters of Cadimare have won, with a week in advance, the title of provincial Uisp champion. The outgoing champions point directly to an encore in the competition on the first Sunday of August, the Cadimare boys have the opportunity to write for their township, where there are many expectations, an important page in the history of this challenge.
Besides, the Palio del Golfo is all here, one race, one challenge, one day. The provincial championship, the preparatory regattas, the winter challenges do not count for anything. Only what happens in the La Spezia sea in front of the Passeggiata Morin applies. This is the Palio, it has been officially run for 94 years, and in the end it only matters who wins on August 4.
The "Palio del Golfo" of La Spezia, which takes place every year on the first Sunday in August in the waters in front of the promenade of the city of La Spezia, is simply a rowing race between 13 boats "type palio", handmade by local artisans with unique characteristics that make them more agile and faster. But in reality it is a challenge among the thirteen communities of the Gulf of La Spezia, a time when time stands still because the colors of the township, the sense of belonging, become more important than everything, even in an increasingly globalized world where the differences of once upon a time, the cultural closures of small fishing villages are just a memory.
The "Palio del Golfo", in fact, has its roots in the maritime culture of the Gulf people. The Palio was born, probably from impromptu challenges between crews of work boats loaded with fish or the ancient "black gold" of the Gulf of La Spezia: the mussels or "muscles" as they are better known throughout the Gulf. Important challenges since the victory was not a sporting victory at the time but could allow the priority of unloading at the quay the catch or the product transported, thus increasing the possibility of earning or still allowing to enjoy with a little advance of the deserved rest, and , still today, it is lived with passion by all the citizens and in particular by the inhabitants of the Borgate - modern neighborhoods or renowned countries - that face the sea: Porto Venere, Le Grazie, Fezzano, Cadimare, Marola, CRDD (Recreational circle for employees of defense ), Canaletto, Fossamastra, Muggiano, San Terenzo, Venere Azzurra, Lerici and Tellaro. With their voluntary work, each year, the 13 Borgates and their Committee organize the event down to the smallest details: the "Traditional Parade" on Friday, already experienced with a healthy competitive spirit, the "Pesa delle Barche" on Saturday ( typical boats, the result of the skilful work of local shipwrights and the Sunday races where the crews of three different categories are involved, Female, Senior and Junior.
For some years, moreover, the Palio has been the occasion to organize several "collateral" events.
This year's program sees the Friday night parade of the “Palio del Golfo” villages at 9 pm, and the ceremony will return Pali, then Saturday 3 August, at 3.30 pm, the measurement and control of the boats. The main day Sunday, August 4, where from 17 you go down into the sea with the Women's Race, then at 18 the junior race and at 19.30, after the solemn opening of the challenge rowing between the Borgate, you run the 94th Palio del Golfo in the water in front of the Morin promenade.
This year the press was presented by Susanna Oddi's family the trophy dedicated to her, Susanna historical figure of the Palio, Head of the Village of Fossamasta and prematurely disappeared. The Trophy that bears its noble name will be awarded to the female winner of the Palio del Golfo.
The train, surely the best means of travel to visit the Cinque Terre and be enchanted by the beauty of the Ligurian sea. From March 16th the 5 Terre Express train is in service to travel comfortably between La Spezia Centrale, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso and Levanto with a single single fare ticket, taking advantage of the offer of 100 trains a day, 7 days a week, every 15 minutes