It's been HOT, and we've been busy, busy, busy, but NOT too busy to celebrate Redentore!!! As you may know already, Festa della Redentore is probably the biggest festival in town. Venetians have been celebrating this holiday since 1577, first held to celebrate the end of the terrible plague years and the construction of the Church of the Redentore (the Redeemer). The holiday begins with a procession across the Giudecca canal on a temporary pontoon bridge led by the Patriarch of Venice. A special mass is held in the church, followed by merriment and LOTS of food consumed canal-side, in anticipation of the evening's fireworks which commence at 11:30 pm. The weekend long celebration ends the following day with gondola races in Giudecca canal.
We waited along with the rest of Venice, it seems, alongside the fondamenta, at 7pm on Saturday evening waiting the opening of the bridge. Just before 7 we caught a glimpse of the new Patriarch Francesco Moraglia arrive by boat and make his way to the area on the bridge where Mayor Orsoni and a crowd of others awaited him. The crowd got impatient as 7pm came and went- everyone wanted to get across the bridge! Finally, almost 10 minutes later, the red, green and white ribbon was cut and the masses made their way across to the foot of the Redentore church.
We couldn't have asked for a better location to spend this special event! In previous years we've sat along the street along the Giudecca to watch the fireworks, and always wished we could be included in some family's celebration too. We'd always been envious, watching from afar, as the families and groups of friends gathered along the waterfront to celebrate, eating vast quantities of food! This year we got to experience a Redentore like we had always hoped for- and alot more!
We all brought food to share, and there was no shortage of either food or drink. However, the highlights of the evening were the bovoletti ( small snails) made by Caterina's mom, and the tiramisu made by Caterina herself!
Here's Caterina's dad enjoying the last yummy morsels of tiramisu!
All in all , Redentore 2012 was the perfect weekend. Lots of good food, surrounded by good friends and family. It's already marked on my calendar for next year!