Between 1575 and 1577 Venice was affected by the plague and more than a third of the population died. The senate decided to erect a church dedicated to Christ the Redeemer as an offering for divine help and the following year the city was declared free of disease. Year by year Venetians commemorates this event, which is still one of the most important in the city. Every year a temporary floating bridge about 300 mt long (called “Ponte Votivo”) is erected over the Giudecca Canal to connect the Zattere with the Church of Redentore and a religious procession takes place on the 3rd Sunday of July (this year July 17).
If you will visit Venice during the Redentore Festival, do not miss the great party organized on Saturday evening that ends with wonderful fireworks displayed on the lagoon. Since early in the morning Venetian people begin to decorate their boats or terraces from where they can admire the show with balloons, garlands and lights. At the sunset the lagoon in front of St. Mark Square begins to fill up with boats of all kinds and Venetians, while dining with relatives and friends, wait for the fireworks on board of them or at the restaurants facing the lagoon.
Around 11 p.m. the fireworks start and the lagoon becomes one of the most beautiful stages in the world: lights, colours and a wonderful atmosphere will surround Venice for about 45 minutes leaving everyone breathless and at the end of the fireworks, the young people of the city head off to Lido of Venice and wait for the dawn sitting on the beach or enjoying the many night-time events.
Do you want to know where to watch the fireworks even if you do not own a boat?
The best places in Venice are the Giudecca and Riva degli Schiavoni: these places will be very crowed and sometimes your view could be obstructing by moored boats, but it is worth to try to find a good place there.
If you can not go to Venice, do not give up to watch the show: go to the harbor of Punta Sabbioni (it is only 4 km far from the campsite)! From the pier you can watch the fireworks the same: maybe it will not be as to be in Venice because they will be a little far, but it is a fair compromise not to miss them.
And on Sunday? The procession to the Church of Redentore will take place in the morning and the Redentore regatta on the Giudecca Canal will close the celebration of the festival.