FESTA DEL REDENTORE
Redentore is probably the most loved of the traditional festivals and it takes place on the 3rd weekend of July.
It is lived by Venetians with great participation and celebrates the end of a terrible plague. A temporary pontoon bridge is set up between the Zattere and the Giudecca island, in front of the Redentore Church, for thanksgiving pilgrimage and celebrations.
On 1577 a plague that killed about 50.000 people (including the painter Titian) affected the city. The Doge in charge at that time promised to build a beautiful church dedicated to the Redeemer if the plague ended. The Chiesa del Redentore by Andrea Palladio was the result and Venetians have celebrated this event ever since.
WHAT VENETIANS DO ON THE REDENTORE
On Saturday night, we meet with family and friends and organise a special dinner outdoor, possibly on a boat or at the waterfront facing St. Mark’s basin. The lucky ones join a friend who owns a terrace with a view.
We await the eve of the party eating traditional recipes.
You will see plenty of boats decorated with lanterns and balloons heading to St. Mark’s basin. Here they stop and wait for the traditional fireworks that start around 11:30 pm and finish at midnight. Those who cannot be on a boat party put a large table on the waterfronts and share food with friends.
The fireworks are really impressive and change a little every year. Venetians comment aloud while they are watching and then, invariably, compare them with those of the previous years.
On Sunday around 4 pm, there is the Redentore regatta at the Canale della Giudecca. On Sunday at 7 pm, there is the Holy Mass at the Redentore Church.
WHICH ARE THE BEST PLACES TO WATCH THE REDENTORE FIREWORKS
The fireworks are set at the Bacino di San Marco, in front of the Ducal Palace. They can easily be seen from a distance.
You can buy something to eat and drink, bring with you a beach towel to sit on the ground. Move away from the crowds of San Marco and walk along the Riva Degli Schiavoni. Find a little place to sit on your way to S. Elena park. Another good place is the Giudecca waterfront, but from here it is more complicated to go back to the centre of the city when the firework show ends.
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