The Redentore festival in Venice
The Redentore Festival in Venice has its origins in 1577 and commemorates the end of a terrible plague that pained the city.
According to a legend, Venice was freed from the plague thanks to the prayers of the population and the solemn vow of the Doge Alvise Mocenigo, who vowed to build a beautiful church if the Republic of Venice had survived to the terrible disease.
It's said that the plague in Venice has been brought by the commercial vessels coming from the East, into which rats infected by fleas were nested.
After the plague was the Doge Sebastiano Venier to fulfill the vow.
On the third Sunday of July 1577, after the competition for the construction of the Redentore's Church, won by Andrea Palladio, was provisionally built a wooden church and formed a floating walkway between the Giudecca island and Venice, where the first procession took place.
The Doge, the Schools of Arts and Crafts, the Religious Brotherhoods and the people paraded together to the Church of the Redentore with gratitude and recognition for having saved the city from the plague.
Since 1577, this event is celebrated every year on the third weekend of July and takes place during two days:
- the Saturday is inaugurated with the opening of the votive bridge, about 330 meters long, which consists of boats that connect the Redentore's Church, located in the island of Giudecca, to Venice. The procession is done above it, where is given the blessing of the Patriarch.
Starting from the sunset the festivities begin in Bacino San Marco where, after dinner, it's possible to admire the fireworks.
- on Sunday the event ends with the religious functions that take place in the Church of the Redentore and the traditional Redentore's Regatta.
The Feast of the Redentore is the most loved festivity by the Venetians, because into it converge both the religious aspect and the more festive and spectacular fireworks, which light up the sky of the Bacino San Marco and the Giudecca's Canal.
The Redentore is an event famous all over the world and every year attracts thousands of visitors, both tourists and local people from the inland or from the Venice Lagoon islands.
At sunset the boats addobate with colored lights and garlands begin to take place in the St. Mark's Basin and the Canal of Giudecca.
As per tradition people have dinner in boats, eating typical venetian dishes in a party atmosphere, animated by music, dancing and drinking good wine: they wait for the fireworks, which start at 23:30 and end after midnight.
The seats to have dinner in a boat celebrating the Redentore in Venice are limited, so it is a good advice to book well in advance.
If you want to spend an unforgettable Redentore in a boat, to see the fires up close, we would recommend our Redentore evening in a boat, with traditional dinner and firework display on the front row.