The numbers of the Palio del Golfo

A journey through the Palio del Golfo and its history by the numbers that have built a great tradition.

The competition between the fishing villages that today, August 4 2019 takes place in the waters of the Morin walk of La Spezia is certainly one of the most lively and felt traditions of La Spezia and the villages facing its Gulf. The Palio del Golfo with its busy schedule of planned events is the time when all the villages gather in the city for a few days and also fill the city center with their spirit.

Here a list of the most important Palio del Golfo’s numbers.

94: So many are the editions of the Palio del Golfo, including the one of this year which will be staged at the Morin walk August 4, 2019. The Palio has always been staged since 1932. Only the 1941 to 1944 editions were not held because of the World War II and that of 1981. If 1932 is the date of the first official Palio, the race was already on since 1925 and perhaps even earlier.

The Palio of the Gulf of the Poets, born from the race to determine the fish price

As reconstructed by fans and historians fond of the Palio del Golfo, the duel between the villages of the Gulf of Poets started as impromptu races that had the fishing workboats as protagonists – in the nineteenth century – when, loaded with fish, they returned to shore.
Who first arrived at the dock had the priority of landing the catch and thus an advantage on the setting of the price to the fish market.


 are the villages participating in the Palio. Each is assigned a fixed number, starting from the west of the bay with Porto Venere (number 1) to Tellaro (number 13), in the far east. There are three arms of the municipality of Portovenere (Porto Venere, Le Grazie and Fezzano), 6 crews of the town of La Spezia (Cadimare, Marola, CRDD, Canaletto, Fossamastra and Muggiano), 4 the boats of the town of Lerici (San Terenzo, Venere Azzurra, Lerici and Tellaro).


5 are the components of each crew, four rowers and one coxswain. The helmsman, usually, is a child who is given the delicate task of beating the time to the athletes and controls the operation at the turning point.


2000 are the meters that boats of senior crews must row. 2,000 meters long is the challenge to win the prize (the race for women and juniors crews is 1000 meters long).


are the mark roundings that the seniors boats must perform (1 for women’s and junior teams). The competition area is therefore 500 meters long and has to be covered 4 times by senior crews and 2 times by women and juniors.


is the date of the only Palio Gulf raced away from the Morin walk. In that year, the competition was held in the water pool of San Terenzo. The walk Morin and the immediate surroundings, in fact, bore signs of violent World War II bombings.


This is the number of of records wins, by Cadimare. The pirates are followed by the Canaletto with 17 wins and Fezzano, with 9. The ranking is closed by Venere Azzurra and Tellaro with a hit to the head and Lerici, San Terenzo and CRDD with 2 triumphs. All villages have raised at least once the drape of the Palio.


is the year when the first Palio Gulf the Junior category rowed the Palio.


are the victories of the village leader in the Junior category, the Cadimare.


is the year in which for the first time it was awarded a prize to the township with the best representation in the parade of the Palio. Leading the special classification is the Canaletto, with 8 wins, followed by Portovenere with 7. The prize for the parade was not assigned on 5 occasions.


are the victories of the Palio record holder, Paolo Lavalle. True legend of this competition, Lavalle has won 4 times with Canaletto (1988, 90, 96, 2009), 6 times with Marola (2000-2006) and the first time with the CRDD (in 1992). Multi-winners on the podium Giuseppe Liberatore (7 wins with Marola, Lerici, Le Grazie and Fezzano) and Attilio Mori, Roberto Borrini, Patrick IPierleoni, Fausto Sassi with six wins each.


 is the year in which it was held the first competition of the Palio Gulf for the female category.


are the victories in the women’s category of the CRDD township.


is the record of consecutive victories set by Cadimare between 1955 and 1959. All five have had Attilio Mori as a protagonist.



it is the passion of the people of the villages that colors the promenade of La Spezia!

Photo is by Sara Sally


Letizia Bordoni



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