The Festa del Redentore, the most famous traditional festival in Venice, celebrated on the third Sunday of July every year to commemorate the end of the plague epidemic of 1575-1577. The Feast of the Redeemer is the event that commemorates the grace received by the city to end the plague and, at the behest of the doge at the time it was requested, the promise was made that every year, on the day in which the city was declared free from the scourge, a procession would be held to the new votive church. The year 2021 in particular, the Festa del Redentore is part of the celebrations of Venice 1600, thus becoming a heartfelt moment of participation for both the city and its guests.
The main events of the Festa del Redentore 2021 still take place along the historical itineraries of this ancient feast. Fireworks play an important role on the Feast of the Redeemer. The Festa del Redentore is one of the festivities most felt by Venetians, in which the religious and the spectacular coexist, thanks to the fireworks that, on Saturday night, attracts thousands of visitors: on the inimitable stage of the San Basin. Marco plays of light and reflections trace a kaleidoscope of colors that stands out behind the spiers, domes and bell towers of the city.
The Redentore, the “very famous” night as the Venetians colloquially call it, is an integral part of the customs of the inhabitants of the lagoon city who continue to to renew, even today, the gastronomic traditions, the folklore and the celebrations handed down by their ancestors who have made, over the years, this “very Venetian” festival also known internationally as well as one of the largest tourist attractions in the city.
On Saturday, the eve of the festival, fireworks are let off. Preparations begin early in the morning when people begin to decorate their boats, or the small wooden terraces on rooftops from where they can admire the fireworks. At sunset, Saint Mark’s basin begins to fill with up with boats of all kinds, festooned with balloons and garlands, and thousands of Venetians await the fireworks while dining on the boats.
Around 11 o’clock at night, from pontoons placed nearby the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the fireworks begin and Saint Mark’s basin becomes one of the most atmospheric stages in the world. Both from boats, prepared and lit for a party and moored in the Basin, and from the Venetian Palaces that host fantastic parties, you can enjoy the 40-minute fireworks, fireworks that enchant by illuminating spiers, domes, bell towers and monuments of Venice with cascades of colored lights.
The Festa del Redentore is certainly the most heartfelt and lived Venetians’ festival and remains the most anticipated event of the year. The religious significance has been accompanied by entertainment and entertainment for over 400 years. The fireworks illuminating the night and arousing intense emotions in both Venetians and visitors. Once the fireworks are over, the young people of the city head off to the Lido, where they sit on the sand and wait for dawn.
Sunday is devoted to religious celebrations. A bridge of barges is built connecting Giudecca to the rest of Venice. The opening of the bridge connecting the main island of Venice to the smaller Giudecca island where the Redentore church lies, is a secular tradition. If you want to go over the bridge by foot, prepare for a crowded path and a slow walk, but you can also reach the island by boat.
The festival start on the evening of Friday 16 July with the opening from 8 pm of the votive bridge, which connects the Zattere with the Church of the Redentore to the Giudecca island (open until midnight on Sunday 18 July).
Confirmed the religious celebrations, the lighting of the traditional lights on Saturday and Sunday, along fondamenta delle Zattere and Giudecca. The program of the celebrations open on Saturday 17 July when the Grand Canal was transformed into a large stage crossed in several moments by four “cool nights” that broadcast different music along the banks, in a path that start from the railway station, touching Punta della Dogana., up to Giudecca. In the evening more music, with concerts in some stalls in various areas of the city, thanks to the collaboration of the exhibitors.
On the afternoon of Sunday 18 July, the Venetian rowing regattas are confirmed in the stretch in front of the Giudecca, at 4 pm that of the very young on 2-oared pupparini, at 4.45 pm the pupparini with 2 oars and at 5.30 pm the regatta on gondolas with 2 oars oars.
From Friday evening until Sunday the replacement line of the San Nicolò – Punta Sabbioni Ferry was activated and in any case, in an extraordinary way, compared to the previous editions, both on Saturday and Sunday, with two trips on the outward journey and two in the afternoon on the way back, it was an extraordinary ferry from Tronchetto, along the Vittorio Emanuele, to the Alberoni, reserved for pedestrians and cyclists.
July 16, Friday
9.00 pm Opening of the votive bridge that connects the Zattere with the Church of the Redentore on the Giudecca island
July 17, Saturday
11.30 pm – Fireworks in the San Marco Basin
July 18, Sunday
Regattas del Redentore – Giudecca Canal:
4.00 pm regatta for the very young on 2-oared pupparini
4.45 pm regatta on 2-oared pupparini
5.30 pm regatta on 2-oared gondola
7.00 pm – Giudecca Island, at the Church of the Redentore Santa Messa Votiva
Exclusive Redentore boat parties or in the elegant buildings of the historic centre enliven the night of the Redeemer’s feast in Venice Italy 2021: dances and celebrations of all kinds continue until dawn, pausing only around 11.30 pm to watch the incredible Venice Redentore fireworks 2021.
At 11.30 o’clock on Saturday night, the fireworks display illuminated the sky of Venice. Shapes and colors divided into four narrative paintings colored the most awaited night of the Feast of the Redeemer. The fireworks returned to Venetians and tourists the thrill of the sparkle of lights on the San Marco basin.
At the opening the tricolor to celebrate Italian pride and the tenacity not to give up; the celebrations of the Serenissima with a tribute to its 1600 years of history; a tribute to art with colorful lights reflected on the sea and in conclusion the final riot of pyrotechnic effects. Forty-one minutes of show, a 420-meter fire front in the center of the Giudecca canal, with 47 different launch positions divided into 34 floating platforms.
A display of 40 minutes of pure magic that enchants the entire world and represents the most awaited event of the entire weekend. The Redentore fireworks 2021 festival light up the entire city with cascades of coloured lights, reflections on the water and the play of shadows and lights that stand out on the facades of buildings and famous monuments.
Traditional “Venetian” regattas
The regattas on 4 pm Sunday in the Giudecca Canal. The traditional Venetian rowing regatta that sees 18 Venetian rowers challenge each other with strokes of rowingto win the title of winner in the competition linked to the festival most felt by the Venetians.
There was three exciting challenges with 9 crews that compete on gondolas with two oars and pupparini, always with two oars, each of a different color from purple to “canarin”, from light blue to “brown”, from white to pink, red, green and orange, according to a tradition that has been going on since 1843 and was born to allow spectators to follow the race more easily from the banks. Nine colors to distinguish the nine challengers struggling with a sprint of Venetian rowing: departure from the Redentore and crossing the Giudecca Canal, that of the Canale di Fusina, the so-called “giro del paleto” at S. Giorgio in Alga and then return near the Church of the Redeemer where the winner was proclaimed.
It is abouta race that the Municipality of Venice has been renewing for over a hundred years, since 1920, with a period of stop experienced by the competition only in the years ranging from 1925 to 1957, in the historical moment close to the Second World War and the postwar period. That of the Redentore is a regatta that contributes to giving color and folklore to a party that attracts tourists from all over the world, whose celebrations are also enriched by a “rowing” sporting competition that proclaims, every year, the new champions of this category of racers.
Feast of the Redeemer
As per tradition, the start of the Feast of the Redeemer was given with the opening of the votive bridge on Friday 16 July, one day in advance to allow as many people as desired to make the pilgrimage to the Basilica. From the late afternoon of Sunday, the celebrations moved to the shores and to the San Marco basin, which at dusk was populated by boats: music, entertainment and typical dishes of Venetian cuisine have been the trait d’union to a tradition that is is renewed.
About 3000 boats distributed in the mooring areas to follow the show from the water, in the most traditional way, which hosted 20,000 people. In total, including the entire perimeter of the ancient city of Venice, Sunday night there were 85,000 visitors, divided equally between Italians and foreigners, mainly from Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Poland. The flows constantly monitored by the Tronchetto Smart Control Room recorded the presence of 21,000 people from the Veneto Region and the same number from the rest of Italy.
In the year 1575 a terrible plague struck Italy and the city of Venice was not immune: for two years the epidemic ravaged the city, claiming almost fifty thousand victims. Two hospitals were built for the occasion but they filled up in a very short time, forcing the authorities to put an increasing number of sick people in boats that were parked off Venice.
Seeing no improvements, the doge urged the citizens to pray and ordered the construction of a temple dedicated to the Redeemer as soon as the plague was over. The competition for the construction of the Redentore church was won by the famous architect Andrea Palladioand, when the epidemic subsided, in 1577, construction work began. From that moment every year, on the third Sunday of July, a bridge of boats is erected that connects Piazza San Marco to the church of the Redentore to allow the procession of faithful to pass, thanking the Redeemer for the end of that tragedy.
This celebration becomes a tradition that is still active after almost five centuries. As well as others in Venice: the apparition of the Madonna on the island of Pellestrina in 1516, which asked for prayers in exchange for the arrest of the Turkish attack, and another ex voto of liberation from another plague, that of 1600 of which Manzoni also narrated, which led to the construction of the Madonna della Salute (by Longhena) and which today is also remembered with a procession on a pontoon bridge and with the typical “castradina” dish.
The Feast of the Redeemer makes itself known for the incredible spectacle it offers to those who pass by in those days. A votive bridge is built that connects the Zattere with the church, to allow the faithful to go on pilgrimage. This removable structure creates a pontoon bridge, realized only one more time during the year, ie during the celebrations dedicated to the Madonna della Salute.
On the first day, Saturday of the Redeemer, they went with their boats, decorated with flowers, bright balloons and foliage to the Giudecca island. There, along the banks, there were small kiosks used for the sale of fennel, blackberries, of Melissa water of the Discalced Carmelite Fathers, of “sfogi” (sole) in saor, ducks and roast chickens. Then, tradition had it that the Venetians moved by boat to the Lido to see the sunrise.
Sunday morning was dedicated to the religious processionwhich started from the Basilica of San Marco and crossed the canal, on the votive bridge, until it reached the church of the Redentore on Giudecca. Finally, in the evening, you could watch the fireworks display.
Today, the Feast of the Redeemer is celebrated keeping most of the traditions of the past. In addition to the votive bridge, inaugurated on the Friday evening before Saturday of the Redentore and the procession and Holy Mass, the Feast of the Redeemer is celebrated by the Venetians on the banks of the Giudecca with tables with friends and family.where you can taste the foods of the Venetian culinary tradition, or directly on the boat, rigorously decorated for the party and moored in Canale della Giudecca.
There also competitions among typical Venetian boats, such as the regatta on gondolas, Eucharistic celebrations and festivities. Finally, a spectacular fireworks display. A kaleidoscope of bright colors that frame a fairytale Venice.