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Sports

Unsurprisingly, rowing and sailing are popular sporting pastimes in Venice with the indigenous population, both as a recreational activity and also of course as part of the many regattas which populate the annual events calendar.

In a city where the streets are made of water though, it may come as some surprise to learn that Venice also hosts an annual marathon race through the city each October and also boasts an 18 hole golf course on Lido island which is open all year round.

The official site for the Venice marathon, which can be viewed in English, is at www.venicemarathon.it

Swimming pools and some small gyms also occupy places in Venice for those that seek to maintain their fitness or work that ice-cream off during their visit. A guide to hotels in Venice which contain gyms can be found at www.hotels.co.uk/hotel-italy/hotel-venice/gym-hotel-venice .

Venice also has its own official handball association and volleyball society but in Italy football is king, much like almost everywhere else on the continent. Venice football club (nowadays known as SSC Venezia after its rebirth from bankruptcy in 2005) currently (2007/8) ply their trade in Serie C1, or the 3rd tier of Italian football effectively, and celebrated their centenary season in 2007.

The club’s stadium on the eastern tip of Venice island gives it probably a somewhat unique status location wise and also has the unusual situation of fans travelling to the matches by boat. The team has a loyal core support like most Italian teams although tickets are generally easy to come by on match days if you happen to be in the city on match day and have the urge.

Despite Venice’ lowly status currently, the team has flirted with the big boys in Serie A as recently as 2002 although their sole major success came in the Italian Cup in 1941. Some reasonably well known players, perhaps to British fans mainly, have graced the shirt of Venice over the years although their most prominent former player is probably Italian international striker Christian Vieri who led the line early in his career for a season prior to international fame gained elsewhere.

The clubs official website can be found at www.veneziacalcio.it

Did you Know?!?

Venice Football clubs most productive period in the top flight of Italian football was the 1940/41 season in which they won the cup, and the following season where they finished third in the league – their highest ever placing.

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