Feast of the Redeemer 2023: the programme and some useful advice
As every year, the time has come to prepare for the most important event of the Venetian summer: the Feast of the Redeemer, otherwise known as “Festa Famosissima”.
Let’s find out more together about what it is and what we can expect from the most sparkling weekend of July in the lagoon.
The history of the Redeemer
Tradition has distant origins.
In fact the promise of Doge Alvise Mocenigo dates back to July 1577, the year in which the plague epidemic that had hit the city hard finally ended.
From that moment onwards, every year, on the day the city was declared free from the plague, a procession would be held, ending at the new votive church at Giudecca.
The Palladian church built by order of the Venetian Senate represented in fact a vote to remember the Grace granted to the city with the end of the plague.
The programme of the event
An event not to be missed again this year, starting at 8.00 p.m. on Friday 14 July, when the long votive bridge of boats will be opened, set up on the Giudecca Canal, which connecting the island with the Fondamenta delle Zattere near the Church of the Holy Spirit, allows pedestrian access to the church of the Redeemer.
The bridge will be open until 8.30 pm on Saturday, July 15, when the most highly anticipated and wonderful spectacle of the Redeemer’s Festival will start: the pyrotechnic show.
The play of light and reflection on the inimitable stage of the San Marco Basin traces a kaleidoscope of colours that stands behind the spires, domes and bell towers of the city and attracts thousands of visitors every year from all over the world.
At the end of the “fire show”, all the boats on the canal travel in a spontaneous parade along the Grand Canal or head towards the Lido to wait for the sunrise, as tradition dictates, and the bridge of boats is then opened again.
The next day, Sunday 16 July, is the time for religious celebrations (7.00 pm at the church of the Redeemer) and the rowing competitions that always accompany this day.
Here are the times when you can attend the races:
- 4.00 p.m. Regatta of the very young on pupparini with 2 oars
- 4.45 p.m. Regatta on pupparini with 2 oars
- 5.30 p.m. Regatta on gondolas with 2 oars
A few tips to make to most
of the Feast of the Redeemer
The first thing to keep absolutely in mind if you want to participate in the Feast of the Redeemer is that to attend the fireworks show, both by land and by boat, it is mandatory to book your seat online. Access to the shores will in fact be contingent, as well as access to the boats.
Already from the morning the inhabitants of the city gather on the banks of the Giudecca to find a place at the tables that traditionally are prepared for dining outdoors.
This being a sacred day for every true Venetian, they cannot be out of town for any reason: music and dancing take place throughout the day until late at night, Venetian dishes are served and boat trips take place from the morning to see the most characteristic places of the lagoon.
Reaching Venice by train for the occasion is very easy, but the most convenient alternative to get there is definitely the bus, which connects Venice with the main locations of eastern Veneto and the airports of Venice and Treviso.
Now that you know all about the Festival of the Redeemer, look for the nearest ATVO stop, take a bus to Venice and enjoy the festivities!