Festa del Redentore: Fireworks in Venice
The Redentore in Venice is a festival deeply appreciated by the Venetians. Besides being a very spectacular event loved by tourists, the Redentore celebration in Venice is one of the oldest and most popular festivals in Venice.
The Festa del Redentore is an event held in Venice the third weekend in July. The Redentore began as a feast to give thanks for the end of the terrible plague of 1576, which killed 50,000 people. To try and stem the pandemic, the Venetian Doge Alvise Mocenigo vowed to build a splendid basilica and so on the third Sunday of July in 1577, the first stone of the Church of the Redeemer on the island of Giudecca was placed; it was decided to celebrate the end of pestilence by setting up a floating walkway between Venice and the island of Giudecca on which a procession of the population and the highest officers and of the Republic would march.
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 and thousands of Venetians await the fireworks while dining on the boats. Around 10 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. The fireworks last for around 45 to 60 minutes, 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.