The Redentore Feast (Feast of the Redeemer) 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 colors 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. Waiting 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 specialties. The spectacular festival is held every third weekend of July and is second only to Venice’s Carnevale.
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, built on the Giudecca Island to give thanks for being freed from the Black 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-meter pontoon bridge. The weekend finishes with the Regata su gondole, a gondola race organised as part of the Voga alla Veneta rowing season.
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