The Barcolana of Trieste: history and route of the world’s largest regatta

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Autumn is approaching and the atmosphere in Trieste becomes feverish, while the city is preparing to host the most anticipated event of the year. Every October, in fact, returns the Barcolanathe long-awaited appointment that can boast the record for “the largest regatta in the world“.

Trieste Barcolana

The history of the Barcolana in Trieste

In 1969 51 boats gathered in Trieste for the first edition of the Barcolana. The rules were few, then as today: the appointment on the second Sunday of October was open to anyone who owned a sailboat and wanted to share a day of sport in the sea in front of Trieste. One of the strengths of the Barcolana remains perhaps just this: the fact that it combines simple fans and great international sailors, together to compete along the same route.

Year after year, along the starting line between the beaches of Barcola and Grignano have lined up more and more crews from Italy and around the world, transforming the Barcolana into an unmissable event highly appreciated internationally. Then, the Guinness World Record in 2018: 2689 boats participated that year and the Barcolana of Trieste was officially proclaimed the “Largest Sailing Race”, or the largest regatta in the world. In total it is estimated that every year more than 400.000 people arrive in Trieste among crews, staff, sponsors and enthusiasts, all gathered by the festive atmosphere of the Barcolana.

The Barcolana regatta Trieste

The Barcolana route and the places from which to admire the regatta

On the day of the Barcolana Trieste becomes a large grandstand from which to watch the race, easily visible from different points of the city. The route is a total of 13 nautical miles and starts between the beach of Barcola and the Castle of Miramare, then follows a quadrilateral with fixed summits in the Gulf of Trieste. After returning to Miramare, the sails proceed along the coast until the final stage of the race that begins near the Lighthouse of Victory and arrives at the Dam of Porto Vecchio, just in front of Piazza Unità d’Italia.

Both the start and the final phase of the race are visible to the naked eye from the public: the best places to watch the Barcolana of Trieste are the castles of Miramare and San Giusto, the Napoleonic road and obviously Piazza Unità d’Italia for the grand finale.

But it’s not just the regatta: even if the Barcolana takes place during a single Sunday, in reality Trieste comes alive with a rich program of events starting from the previous week. Many cultural, sport and social activities united by the main theme of the sea, which you can find on the official website of the event.

Barcolana e Idrusa - Hotel DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste

Our participation in the Barcolana of Trieste: the boat Idrusa

For the third year, the DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste is the official sponsor of Idrusa, a boat with a long history of success that in the 2022 edition was classified at the 10th place led by skipper Paolo Montefusco. The 80-foot “MaxiOne” was designed by Bruce Farr for ocean racing, later upgraded and optimized for Mediterranean racing.

Although we wish all the thousands of boats an excellent Barcolana of Trieste and a great day of sport, our special cheer goes to the crew of Idrusa so that they can repeat or exceed the fantastic result of last year.

If you are staying at the hotel during the Barcolana, ask the reception for information about the special activities that will be proposed in our Wellness Area and at the Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail.