Madonna della Salute festival, Venice 2016

The Madonna della Salute festival, Venice 21st November 2016: this is a date not to be missed by anyone who really loves Venice and its most deeply felt recurring events. The feast of the Madonna della Salute is not about colours, music, enchanting atmospheres but it is something that truly belongs to the place and it has been going on, year by year, for more than four-hundred years…

As for the Redentore festival, the feast-day of the Madonna della Salute finds its origins into a dramatic event: the pestilence of 1630 that killed over than 47.000 venetians. The legend tells that the government of the Serenissima, in order to stop the plague, organised a prayers procession dedicated to the Madonna which lasted for three days and three nights. Then, the Doge made a vow to the Virgin Mary and he promised to build a beautiful church dedicated to her in exchange for her help. The pestilence ended in 1631 and the amazing church of the Madonna della Salute was built: the architect was Baldassare Longhena and the church was consecrated on 21st November 1687.

We have decided to share with you the feast of the Madonna della Salute because this is not an event made for tourists but it is something that really belongs to the venetians. As a matter of facts, this is a moment devoted to prayers and introspection and also one of the way that venetians have to feel their true belonging to the city.

As first, the most evident sign of the feast is the bridge that is raised every year by using boats as bases and which links the Santa Maria del Giglio to the Punta della Dogana. For days, people walk back and forward to reach the church, even with rain or cold weather. This bridge makes easier to reach the Madonna della Salute even to the eldery. However, the most thrilling moment of the feast of the Madonna della Salute happens inside the church when thousand of candles are lighten up. Everybody can devote a candle to the Madonna thus recalling the memory of the loved ones. The shape and the dimensions of the candles can be various and they can both be small or very big and tall.

And what about the outside of the church? The front and the sides of the church during the Salute festival, even for this edition of Venice 2016, see many stands illuminated by coloured bulbs and full of sweets and different kind of food. However, if you are in Venice during the feast of the Madonna della Salute, you cannot miss the castradina which is the typical dish of the occasion and it is made with smoked mutton. The castradina is also used to make a delicious soup together with onions, wine and savoy cabbage.

Thus, have we been able to raise your interest in the Madonna della Salute festival (Venice, 21st November 2016)? We are already waiting for you!