Here's a closer look at John Synco's photo of the "Holy Remo".Looking at the photo, you may have noticed that the remi both have light-blue and white stripes. When I saw them, I had a feeling the photo was taken at Società Canottieri Francesco Querini - a rowing club in Castello, a fact that John Synco confirmed when I met him at Sunset Gondola.
Francesco Querini was a maritime hero from Venice, who, among other things, died on the ice during an expedition to the North Pole.
The Querini rowing club is known for many things, but their claim to fame is an 18-man boat known as a "disdotona". I'm told she's 24 meters long!
There are many similar boats, but none as long and with so many rowers.
I had the opportunity to row on a 14-man, 22 meter "Quatordesona" version in the 2005 Regata Storica. There are only a few of these high capacity, extra-long boats, and each one is the pride of it's rowing club. Some can be broken down into sections - more manageable in shipping.
In July of 2004, the Querini club brought their disdotona to Henley, England to participate in a regata there.
A number of Venetian boats are kept and rowed there by a club known as City Barge, so it was a good fit...and a great excuse for at least 18 Italians to drink some Guiness.
When something so large as a disdotona travels across a continent, it's a big deal. The folks at Querini had a huge banner on display that John Synco got a picture of.
Now THAT'S gondola advertising!
To visit the website of Società Canottieri Francesco Querini, go to:
To see photos and read about Querini's visit to City Barge, go to: