You can say that I was inspired by reading THE SECRET OF THE GLASS, Inspired by Venice, and finally VERY inspired by what’s going on in the world of sports…THE OLYMPICS!
So, I thought I’d write a post about a pretty remarkable Venetian sportswoman…
Maria Boscola da Marina
This lady, born in 18th century Chioggia- part of the Venetian lagoon, was something short of extraordinary for those days. Have you ever heard of the Regata? It's one of the most impressive boat (gondola) races ever seen.
The Regata started around the 14th century as official races for honorary events (example; to celebrate a new Doge, or for royal visits…that type of thing). Along the centuries it did become a lot more extravagant- quite the event not to be missed. Nowadays, in September, all of Venice attends the spectacular feast for the eyes, where tourists make it a point to visit specifically to revel in the historical event happening amidst the waters of La Serenissima.
The point to stress here is that although there was much repression in the early centuries, in Venice, this has never stopped bold, smart, strong and determined women to hold their own. We’ve seen this in art, music, business and even in the art of love (ahhh those famous courtesans…)-but a Venetian woman making it in sports as well?
Maria Boscola, in her everyday normal life, would tend to her family, grow her vegetables and make her weekly, or daily visit to the market to sell her produce. That was not the only reason she typically ‘hung’ around the lagoon…
Maria Boscola was the fantastic and unsurpassed female rowing champion of the 18th c!! She was a champion of the Regata for over 40 years! Renowned and famous all right! There’s even a painting of her at the Museo Corer of Venice. Yet, although much was written about her in newspapers back then, including that she was the pride and joy of Venice…sadly, global research on this great athlete is rather meek. Considering the hardships and insurmountable feats she must have had to go through just to be part of this event (she apparently had a large family of 5 or 6 children to raise…) it's more than just remarkable.
To celebrate the Olympics, Venice, and women of substance, I wanted to pay tribute to one outstanding Venetian lady who made her mark against all odds in a time and place where women hardly ever stood a chance.
Here's another of the Regata