Walking along the Arno, you’re almost as likely to hear the rhythmic beatings of a dragon boat drummer as a motorino’s horn. The sport of dragon boat racing, introduced to the west less than two decades ago, is thriving at Società Canottieri Comunali Firenze, as are the Olympic sports of kayak, canoe, rowing and canoe polo. Founded in 1934 on city property across the Ponte Verrazzano by city employee Antonio Vegni, the club was conceived as a way for municipal workers to enjoy the river. What began with only a few members has grown into an efficiently organized river sports complex with over 100 boats an 600 members, ages 9 to 70. Sometimes confused with the private club Canottieri Firenze, located just off the Ponte Vecchio, the Canottieri Comunali is a city organization, which was opened to all Florentines in the 1970s.