The FESTA DEL REDENTORE is celebrated in Venice each year on the third Sunday of July.
The festival in honour of the Redeemer is still deeply felt by the population who flock in large numbers to Giudecca, linked for the occasion by a bridge of boats. For Venetians and the whole world, the Festa del Redentore commemorates the terrible plague which afflicted Europe at the end of the 16th century.
In Venice alone, 50,000 died in two years. At the time, the plague was thought to be divine punishment and it was therefore decided to invoke the salvation of the city by building a temple dedicated to the Redeemer.
The plague was declared officially over on the third Sunday of July 1577 and the temple, designed by Palladium, was completed 15 years later.
Since then, thousands of people flock to Venice each year to experience the magic of this festival which involves not just the church of Redentore, but every corner of Venice as far as the San Marco Basin and the whole lagoon which, teeming with festive boats, offer a unique and thrilling spectacle, culminating in a magnificent fireworks display and ending at Lido to watch the sun rise.
It could be said that this festival is a celebration of the Venetians’ way of life dedicated to socialising, the pleasure of good company, eating and drinking together and chatting… tagliar tabarri or “tittle-tattle” as they said in the 18th century.
And in this light-hearted atmosphere full of high spirits, song and the pleasure of good company, between a piece of gossip and a glass of wine, a touch of nostalgia is provided by the notes of San Marco e il suo Leon (St. Mark and his lion) recalling feats and endeavours which, although distant in time, are nevertheless ever present, proof of a glorious past and a tradition which penetrates from the stones of this city into the soul and lives on.