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Rowing in Tuscany

Within the outdoor activities that you can practice in Tuscany, there is one that involves water, muscles and passion: it's rowing. This sport, both recreational and competitive, requires a boat (often called shell), a quite big steam (river or lake, canal, sea), oars and also strong core balance as well as physical strength. There are many different types of competition: endurance races, time trials, stake racing, bumps racing, and the side-by-side format used in the Olympic games.

[Photo Credits: Ryan-o]
[Photo Credits: Ryan-o]

There are many differing sets of rules governing racing and these are generally defined by the governing body of the sport in a particular country. Rowing is ruled worldwide by FISA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron), founded in 1892 in Turin. In Italy there is also the FIC ("Italian Rowing Federation"), founded in 1888 and a Tuscan board, the FIC Toscana. The main differences in boats used for rowing are given by the number of crew members, the number of oars driven by each rower, which may be one or two and the presence or not of a coxswain (is referred to as "with" and "without"). In most levels of rowing there are different weight classes: “open” (or referred to as “heavyweight”) and lightweight.

Rowing under the Ponte Vecchio in Florence [Photo Credits: Flavio~]
Rowing under the Ponte Vecchio in Florence [Photo Credits: Flavio~]

Rowers are divided into categories:

  • 10 years: Allievi A
  • 11 years: Allievi B1 1000 mt
  • 12 years: Allievi B2 1000 mt
  • 13 years: Allievi C 1500 mt
  • 14 years: Cadetti 1500 mt
  • 15 and 16 years: Ragazzi 2000 mt
  • 17 and 18 years: Junior 2000 mt
  • 19-22 years: Under 23 2000 mt
  • 23-: Assoluti 2000 mt
  • 27-: Master 1000 mt
Rowing under Ponte Vecchio [Photo Credits: Giacomo Bartalesi]
Rowing under Ponte Vecchio [Photo Credits: Giacomo Bartalesi]

The main river of Tuscany is the Arno, which flows through the cities of Florence and Pisa and it is possible to practice rowing there. Other rivers include the Ombrone, the Magra, the Serchio, the Sieve and the Bisenzio. Water sports are not permitted everywhere because there are many protected areas such as lakes or natural parks, but sports like rowing, canoeing and kayaking are practiced in Arno river and other steams. These are the Tuscan teams: