Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer) is one of the most beloved Venetian celebrations, held every year in Venice, in the third weekend of July.
At first, Festa del Redentore was a purely religious feast, but, over time, profane elements found their place alongside religious manifestations, and today the event includes a party, a regatta and one of the most impressive firework display in the world.
Between 1575 and 1577, Venice was hit by a merciless plague that killed about one-third of the city’s population. Due to the precarious conditions in which the people were living and to a high population density, the disease spread rapidly and was difficult to control.
In 1576, the Venetian Senate decided to build a church dedicated to Jesus the Redeemer (Il Redentore), hoping to get rid of the disease. A year later, in July, the city was declared cured, and the Venetians initiated a new celebration called Festa del Redentore.
Today, the feast takes place in the third weekend of July and, on this occasion, a bridge is built across the Giudecca Canal, between Zattere and the Giudecca Island, that people cross in a short pilgrimage to the church built by Andrea Palladio, Il Redentore.
On Saturday, a great party is held, completed in the evening by a spectacular firework. Sunday is reserved for religious service and for the Regata del Redentore (Regatta of the Redeemer), a race of typical Venetian boats.
FESTA DEL REDENTORE 2019 will be held on the weekend of July 20-21. The fireworks show will take place on Saturday evening in the St. Mark’s Basin and the Regatta of the Redeemer will be held on Saturday on the Giudecca Canal. The program is as follows:
July 20, Saturday:
- at 7.00 pm, the opening of the Thanksgiving Bridge, connecting Zattere to the Church of Il Redentore, on the Giudecca Island;
- at 11.30 pm, fireworks display in St. Mark’s Basin.
July 21, Sunday:
- from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm, the Regatta of the Redeemer (Regata del Redentore), on the Giudecca Canal;
- at 7.00 pm – Votive Mass at the Church of Il Redentore, on the Giudecca island.