La Barcolana

October 22, 2015 / Events
Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia

A must see for sure! …where else will you see a regatta consisting of almost 2000 sailboats?


Granted, there are various classes for the yachts depending on their length and so technically they are not all pitted against one another as far as the awards/trophies are concerned. However…

…they all race together!


Not only does this mean they all sail around the same course together, but far more mind-boggling, it means they muster (?) in the same starting area, and there is only one starting horn.

Try to imagine 2000 sailboats ranging in size from 10 feet to 100 feet, packed into the same specchio d’acqua (lit. mirror of water, ie. patch of sea) in front of the staring line, jockeying for the best starting positions trying not to sail into one another while the clocks counts down. Sheer pandemonium.


Yet La Barcolana (lit. The Boating…?) repeats itself every year on the second Sunday of October. Professional skippers commanding the latest carbon-fiber racing behemoths sponsored by some of the largest multinationals in the world sail side-by-side with local Triestini boat-owners as well as many other sailing enthusiasts from Europe and beyond.

A great occasion to get to know this incredible city. There are many accompanying cultural events (museums, shows, concerts, conferences, children’s activities, culinary events, etc.) that take place over the 10 days prior to La Barcolana itself… seafaring Trieste’s salute to the sea.

(Many thanks to Mario, Massimo, Davide e Paola, and Luana for the great Creative Commons images. CC BY-NC 2.0)




by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

11 Responses to “La Barcolana”

  1. Michael Lynch

    WOW. I have been sailing for pleasure for 40 years and had not heard of this. thanks

  2. Colleen

    Wow! This is one of the most amazing sights ever! Would love to see it in person someday. We are always occupied that week with Chestnut Festa in Piegaro, but will put it on our must-see bucket list for the future. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Iris Mathewson

    How beautiful and amazing for 2000 sailboats to manage it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for this amazing photo of this otherwise hard-to-imagine event!

  5. Mary Davin

    Oh Trieste Mia – you’re showing off again! City of my birth – how I miss you so!

  6. jenny guth

    I lived in Venice for ten years and never heard of this. Amazing Trieste! Thank you!

  7. Lina Falcone

    Tthese are great photos I heard about this I would like to see it someday. Grazie mille GB.

  8. Ginny Siggia

    It reminds me of a photo my daughter took in Venice, of a mass of gondolas jockeying for space in the canal. Looked like a serious traffic jam but somehow it all worked out.


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