Tourist information on the Redentore Festival in Venice in July including the history behind one of Venice's most popular events, as well as what to expect when attending the Venetian's favourite event.
A religious festival which is held the the third weekend of July. Traditionally, the Venetians celebrate this day by having dinner on the Saturday night while watching an incredible display of fireworks that light up the skies over Venice for an hour or more.
The festival itself dates back to the year 1576, and is named after the church Redentore that was designed by Palladio and resides on the island of Guidecca. Venice was suffering from a terrible plague, and the Republic's senate voted to build a temple on the Guidecca island in honor of Christ the Redeemer, and the Venetians promised to go there every year on the third Sunday of July, if the plague stopped.
The Redentore festival is one of the best-loved by Venetians, as hundreds of boats decorated with branches and multi-colored balloons gather in the bay of San Marco to admire the fireworks and their reflections on the waters of the lagoon, play music, dance and celebrate the beginning of the summer holiday season for many Venetians.
The event begins on the Saturday, with the opening of the Pontoon bridge that links the Zattere with the Guidecca Island. At 11.30 pm, begins the firework display in the bay of San Marco. Then, the boats carrying the revellers make their way through the canals of Venice, before re-gathering at dawn at the Lido to await sunrise.
On Sunday afternoon, their is regatta of young rowers in he Guidecca canal, followed by a regatta for seniors, and nding ith a gondola regatta at 5.30 pm. At 7 pm, Holy Mass is celebrated in the Redentore church of Guidecca.