The “Lucia” – Traditional Rowing Boat
Lucia is a typical rowing boat once used at Lake Como for transporting goods to the markets. It got famous in the well known romance written by Alessandro Manzoni “I Promessi sposi”, a story about spouses that had to outrun lots of hindrances in the 18th century before getting married at Lecco.
It’s a sort of “covered wagon” hoop design, which is seen both bare and covered depending on the needs of the boat operator at the time. These boats were once made of chestnut wood but in the last century more precious wood was used like mahogany or larch) to please the taste of the noble families.
A group of lovers of Lake Como and its traditions formed a few years ago, the association “Friends of Lucia” with the intent to maintain over time the image of this vessel which has established itself worldwide as the symbol of Lake Como . For this purpose, the “Friends of lucia” promote various initiatives to ensure that tourists and new generations have the opportunity to get to know this traditional boat.
Today people collect these old boats, restore them and rent them out for special occasions like marriages or row-competitions. In fact September is also when the traditional rowing competition on Lake Como takes place. Palio Remiero del Lario attracts teams from around Lombardy, who come to take part in the grueling competitions. It has been organised since 1947. This year it will take place on Sunday 24th August in Tremezzo.
Another regatta of the traditional boats Lucia will take place in Ossuccio during the popular Festival di San Giovanni.
You may spot this boats on display while wandering around the shores of beautiful Lake Como, in fact some villages have these pretty boats – some repainted and adopted as a planter for flower displays – on display, for example in Cernobbio or Varenna.