The ancient Festa del Redentore returns to Venice this weekend with its spectacular fireworks display over St. Mark’s Basin.
At dusk on Saturday, small boats adorned with balloons, decorations and brightly colored lanterns, will begin to flock into St. Mark's Basin and the Giudecca Canal. The boats will then moor alongside each other, with spectators enjoying dinner and drinks, while they wait for the fireworks show, scheduled to begin at 11.30 pm.
The Feast of the Redeemer dates back to the times of the Plague. To mark the end of this devastating period in La Serenissima's history, the Doge commissioned none other than Andrea Palladio to design and build an impressive church on the island of Giudecca, an island in the Venetian lagoon. The church was consecrated in 1592 as “Redentore”, or Redeemer, and remains one of the greatest examples of Palladian religious architecture. Soon thereafter, the Doge began yearly pilgrimages to the Redentore church, and now, thousands of Venetians and visitors from all over the world continue the tradition with a celebration every year.
The two most important moments of the celebration are the music and fireworks on Saturday night, which can last up to an hour.
Religious services are held on Sunday.
Watch the fireworks show from last year's Festa: