The Redentore festival is close to the hearts of Venetians, and is celebrated on the third Sunday of July, with a grandiose fireworks show on Saturday night as the main attraction.
The Venetians take in the spectacle of the fireworks right from their boats which are usually decorated with balloons, festoons and lights.
Starting before sunset, the boats make their way to the Saint's Mark basin and to the Giudecca Canal. The waters sparkle with the reflection of boats and lights.
On the boats, among song, dance and typical food, people wait for the fireworks that begin at 11.30pm and go on for almost an hour.
Along the banks thousand of people also wait for the fireworks at long tables set up for the occasion.
The origins of the festival dates back to the horrible plague that devastated Venice between 1575 and 1577.
In three years the plague killed 50,000 people, more than a third of the population. In 1566 the Senate for the Republic decided to erect a church in honor of the Redeemer, hoping that a divine act put an end to the plague.
On July 13, 1577 the plague was declared finally over and from then on Venice has been marking the event on the third Sunday of July with a religious celebration and a popular feast.
During the days of the Redentore festival a bridge of boats, 330 meters in length, straddles the Giudecca Canal. The bridge allows Venetians to easily access the Redentore basilica, where the faithful take part in religious celebrations. The most important one is the Votive Mass presided by the Patriarch.
July 19-20, 2014
Nozio © 2014