The Coppa Ilio Barontini is probably the most spectacular Livornese rowing race, taking place after dark usually on a Saturday in June. It is named after a resistance fighter from Livorno who died in a road accident in 1951. The race was founded in 1966 in his honour.
It stands out from the other rowing races because each team competes on its own around the 3.2m course along the Medici canals. The starting line is at the Scali delle Cantine. From here the teams follow a course along the Scali del Pontino, Scali Reali, Scali Rosciano, Darsena Vecchia, Ponte Nuovo, Scali D’Azeglio, Scali Saffi, Voltone (below Piazza della Repubblica), and back to the finish line at the Scali delle Cantine. Each team is timed and the fastest one naturally wins.
Since the race crosses most of Livorno’s central historic Rioni, spectators gather along the canals in their own district to cheer on their own team and the atmosphere is fantastic. Many spectators also gather around the starting/finish line and it can be hard to get a viewpoint along the canals if you don’t arrive early enough.