Festa del Redentore
The Redentore Feast is a deeply felt celebration in Venice as it combines religion with entertainment, thanks to the Saturday night phantasmagorical fireworks’ display attracting thousands of visitors: a kaleidoscope of shades, from a game of light and colours on the inimitable setting in St. Mark’s Basin, lights up the spires, domes and bell towers of the city. At dusk, plenty of boats traditionally decked out with flower festoons, colourful balloons and brightly Chinese lamps begin to flock into both St. Mark’s Basin and the Giudecca Canal. Awaiting for the firework display, which starts at 11.30 p.m. and lasts late into the night, people enjoy a sumptuous dinner of traditional Venetian specialities.
This tradition dates back to 1577, right at the end of a terrible plague. The Redentore Feast was first held to celebrate the construction of the Palladio’s Redentore Church (i.e. Redeemer Church), built on the Giudecca Island to give thanks for being freed from that plague. Celebrations include the Holy Mass presided by the Bishop and the religious procession to the Palladian basilica, which can be done via an impressive 330 metre pontoon bridge. The weekend finishes with the ‘Regata su gondole’, a gondola race organised as part of the Voga alla Veneta rowing season.