In centuries past, Venice had a royal vessel known as the "Bucintoro". This vessel was as dear to the Venetians as the Statue of Liberty is to Americans.
Unfortunately the Bucintoro was destroyed when Napoleon conquered Venice.
To date there have been several movements interested in rebuilding her, but thus far none have accomplished their goal.
According to Nereo Zane:
"In modern versions of the Regata Storica, the Bucintoro is replaced by this boat, known as the Serenissima."
It can be confusing because a number of boats are painted on similar themes. A similar vessel carries Venice's iconic winged "Lion of St. Mark".
Here's another look at that boat:
And a great close-up of the sword-weilding lion:
A distinguished gentleman dressed as the Doge waves to the crowd from a third boat. I've never met a real Doge, but that guy sure has the look, doesn't he?
THANKS yet again Greg and Nereo for fabulous pictures.
The Serenissima is a gorgeous boat with certain design elements reflective of the last Bucintoro. It is great to see it on the water.
If you have not seen it yet, you owe yourself a visit to the wonderful museum at the Arsenale. That museum houses hundreds of naval artifacts and hundreds of wonderful models.
One of the most spectacular is a model of "The Last Bucintoro." The model was created in 1828. It is about 10 feet long. The carvings, the construction details (such as the parquet floors), and all of the finishing is exquisite. By the way, the lion does not hold a sword. :)
I took quite a few pictures of the model when I last visited the Arsenale and just now published a set of those on my Flickr page.
The Bucintoro is being re-built right now or was that only a plan? They displayed a newly constructed sectional part last year.
> I've never met a real Doge, but that guy sure has the look, doesn't he? <
As far as I've read the doge wasn't Santa Claus on Earth, more like Emperor Palpatine... Essentially venetians chose the canniest old man among their wizened nobility and trusted him to outwit and strong-arm rival powers.
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