5 Things to Know about Feast of the Redeemer

With July arrives the Feast of the Redeemer, this year it arrives on July 14th 2018, the event that marks the Venetian summer’s peak; an “old party”, more than 5 centuries old, that year after year continues to entertain, amuse and enchant.

The lagoon’s waters, the boats, the fireworks; very little is needed to recreate the magic every year, when thousands of people race to get a little spot on the water, no matter if you are in a gondola, a bragozzo (a typical Venetian boat) or a luxurious yacht. The important thing is to have a front row seat to the hottest show of lights of the year!

Fun Fact:

During the plague it was difficult to find room for all the victims who lost their lives. Some were placed near the monastery of the Benedictine Sant’Ariano, one island over of Torcello Island. Years after, the stones of that monastery contributed to the construction of the Church of the Redeemer.

 

Chiesa del Redentore - The Redeemer Church
The Redeemer Church – Photo by E. P.

Here are the 5 things to know about the Feast of the Redeemer.

1. The festival celebrates the construction, by order of the Venetian Senate and the Doge, of the Church of the Redeemer, a votive offering for the liberation from the plague that raged the city from 1575 to 1577. The work was done by the famous architect Andrea Palladio. Because of the epidemic, about a third of the population of the lagoon died.

2. The religious rite during the Feast of the Redeemer is crossing the votive bridge, which has been set up every year from 1577, to cross the canal from Fondamenta delle Zattere (the southern-most point of the city) to the Island of Giudecca where the Church of the Redeemer is located.

3. The most impressive moment, however, is the fireworks show on the eve of the Feast held right in the basin of San Marco, which happens just before midnight every third-Sunday of July. Here’s a taste of the performance of the Feast of the Redeemer, from the 2015 edition:

Louis Abel Truchet (1857-1918), La Festa del Redentore
Louis Abel Truchet (1857-1918), La Festa del Redentore

4. Tradition has it that you observe the sky from the water of the lagoon. Often you plan an outing with family and friends and even rent a boat – which by the way can be really hard to find – and spend the afternoon off boating enjoying home-made foods, drinks and a great company waiting for the midnight show!

Festa del Redentore
Festa del Redentore – Photo by E. P.

5. When, Where, How
The festival begins Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm with the opening of the votive bridge connecting the Zattere to the Church of the Redeemer and the presentation of the crews of the Venetian rowing regattas. On Sunday, from 4:00 pm, in the Giudecca canal takes place the Regattas rowing competition of the Redeemer and the Festival officially ends in the evening with the Mass at the Church of the Redeemer on the Giudecca Island.

Festa del Redentore
Feast of the Redeemer – Photo by E. P.

Are you curious to see the Feast of the Redeemer live? Would you like to discover this and other Summer Events happening in Veneto? Let yourself be escorted by Italy-Welcome during your trip!

 

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