The Redentore is one of the Venetians' most treasured festivities, and is a tourist attraction thanks to the spectacular firework display. It falls on the third Sunday in July, when Holy Mass is held in the presence of the Patriarch, followed by a religious procession.
But the special moment of the festivity takes place on Saturday night: with the unbeatable backdrop of Saint Mark's Basin, a play of lights and reflections produce a kaleidoscope of colours with the silhouetted spires, domes and bell towers of the city behind. The weekend ends with a gondola regatta.
In the three years between 1575 and 1577 the Serenissima was tormented by the plague: aided by the high density of the population, the disease spread through the city, causing terrible losses. Almost 50,000 died, which was more than a third of the city's inhabitants.
On September 4, 1576, the Senate decided that the Doge should announce the vow to erect a church dedicated to the Redentore (Redeemer), in return for help in ending the plague.
The end of the plague
On July 13, 1577, the plague was declared definitively over and it was decided that the city's liberation from the terrible disease should be celebrated on the third Sunday in July.
The Redentore today
At sunset the well illuminated boats, decorated with boughs and coloured balloons, begin congregating in Saint Mark's Basin and the Giudecca Canal. In the boats people eat traditional food, waiting for the firework display, which begins at 11.30pm and lasts until after midnight.
2010 Redentore Programme
Saturday, July 17th
7.00 pm - Celebratory opening of the Thanksgiving Bridge connecting the Zattere to the Church of the Redentore on the Island of Giudecca
11.30 pm - Fireworks in St. Mark's Bay
Sunday, July 18th
The 2010 Rowing Season: Redentore Regattas organized by the Municipality of Venezia.
4.00 pm - A children's twin-oared "pupparini" boat regatta.
4.45 pm - Twin-oared "pupparini" boat regatta.
5.30 pm - Twin-oared gondola regatta.
7.00 pm - Thanksgiving Mass at the Church of the Redentore on the Giudecca, presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Patriarch Angelo Scola, with the city authorities in attendance.
Other Events - Saturday, July 17th
8.00 pm - Redentore at Forte Gazzera.
11.30 pm - Fireworks.
9.00 pm - Redentore in the arena of Piazza Mercato in Marghera
Other Events - Saturday, July 18th
11.30 am - Marinaressa Gardens opening ceremony, Riva Sette Martiri. Event organized by the Municipality of Venezia Murano Burano.
Special Public Transportation Service
On Saturday, July 17th, In the night, Trenitalia wil arrange special trains from Venezia to the main towns in the Veneto. ACTV will adjust local means of trasportation, both on water and in the mainland.