I think that Redentore (Redeemer’s Day) was the first big Venetian festivity that I experienced here in the laguna (well, apart the Carnival) and I still remember how impressed I was because of the huge masses of people filling the fondamenta and the calli on this day! (Not that Venice ever lacks visitors … 😉 )
In case you wonder what “Redentore” is all about and why it’s such an important tradition in Venice: “Redentore” means “Redeemer” and the “Redeemer’s Day” is held every year on the third week end of July to celebrate the end of the black death in the 16th century (1577) and the construction of the homonymous church (Chiesa del Redentore).
People have the possibility to cross the Giudecca canal once a year by foot, from the Zattere to the entrance of the Redeemer’s Church (Chiesa del Redentore, built by the famous architect Palladio), on a bridge made of boats.
The whole city celebrates this day – especially along the fondamenta of the Giudecca canal and on dozens of boats of different sizes, from huge yachts to tiny motor boats, in the laguna in front of the Saint Marc’s Square (Bacino di San Marco)- drinking, eating and partying till the beginning of the fireworks.