Here in Venice, the whole month of September is considered summer with a bonus: It’s harvest time (la vendemmia!) and the flowers and vegetables in the Lagoon enjoy a “second spring”. This means they look so lush again after the hottest months of the year have passed, and the wine harvest, la vendemmia, is taking place. Continue reading “Late Summer in the Lagoon, and a visit to the vineyards”
Venice, 27 August 2012. I will always recall this day, because it was the first time I ventured out, new camera hiding in my bag, to take pictures for my new blog on Venice! Because there were no other blogs on Venice written in English by a Venetian, I took the plunge and started A Garden in Venice!Continue reading “Summer Morning in A Green Courtyard: San Giorgio dei Greci”
The short answer to this question is: Hide in the garden (if you have a garden), or on the altana (roofterrace, if you have one..)
It’s that time of the year again. July, the most busy and at the same time, most quiet month of the year, depending on where you are in Venice, and what you are doing. For our grandmother Lina, summer has always been her favorite season: She’s now spending hours on end in the garden, picking herbs and fruit, and making jam and syrup in the kitchen. Such a quiet garden, located less than five minutes from Piazza San Marco, but shielded from passers-by by thick walls and shrubbery. Lina is enjoying her garden which she prefers to the streets, crowded between 9 am and 9 pm.
July, the second hottest month (afoso as we call it in Italian), on the one hand regales us the most beautiful sunsets of the year, and the largest selection of fruit and vegetables (just everything from cherries to squashes, we’ll come back to food next week). July also make us thoughtful, for especially this summer, 2019 in Venice will be recalled for many years to come.
Two serious cruise ship incidents occurred on Sundays (!) The first incident was actually an accident on 2 June, when MSC Opera rammed into the quay at San Basilio, while a near miss involved cruise ship Costa Deliziosa on 7 July just off Via Garibaldi. After years of discussions, non-discussions and hesitation, the topic cruise ships is now uniting Venetians in fear: If a cruise ship gets out of control and crashes into our town, our lives will be in danger. And so is our city, Venice whose fondamenta (quays) rest on tens of thousands of wooden poles!
July 2019 also represents the 30th anniversary of the Pink Floyd concert, which many Venetians consider the onset of modern overtourism. While the night before our family were listening to the concert on the altana (roof terrace), enjoying it with a festive menu (will share it in a blog post on Saturday), I will always recall the Sunday morning following the concert. I was only a child, but I can still see the broken bottles and garbage covering Riva degli Schiavoni before my eyes. This litter was removed only two days afterwards, by the way.
Overtourism is the topic resounding in the international media, and it’s not just Venice whose name is in the news. We were so honored when we were approached by journalist and writer Joe Minihane for an interview to be published on CNN Travel. Topic was: Venice, overtourism, what can be done and what do we want to get done. Now these were questions apt for soul searching which is what we did for a couple of days. Click here to read the interview on CNN Travel, which also features the answers given by Guido Moltedo and Monica Cesarato. Below are our answers to the complete interview.
How is Venice dealing with the growing influx of tourists?
Venice besieged by tourists certainly isn’t a new sight: A veritable crisis followed the Pink Floyd concert in 1989 in Venice, and pictures of our town overflowing with tourists went around the world for the first time. As a consequence, the mayor and the entire city government had to step down following an outcry by the population exasperated by the incredible numbers of people of which they lost count, the damage done to buildings, graffiti almost impossible to remove, tourists sleeping on their doorsteps and incredible amounts of garbage left behind.
Compared to these extreme pictures, most scenes of tourists moving around the city on an average summer day may seem mild. I do recall another peak in summer 2014, when Venetians, for the first time, collectively raised their voice against mass tourism, sending hundreds of letters of protest and photos to local newspapers, especially the Gazzettino, demanding respect for their city. Today, Venetians are dealing with mass tourism by addressing tourists directly and giving clear directions. It usually works in nine cases out of ten. Of course, this cannot replace a comprehensive and viable strategy to contain tourism and shift it towards high quality offers.
Awareness of overtourism in Venice is rising in the world, also thanks to our international friends. Currently, Venetians are going through a stage of transition, but discussion solutions with friends does help, and first decisions are taken. We’re not in this alone.
What has the effect been on major cultural and historic sights?
The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage has drawn a clear line: For the past three years, only a limited contingent of people have access to the major cultural and historic sights of Venice, such as Basilica di San Marco, the Clock Tower, and the Doge’s Palace.
How many Venetians have left the city due to overtourism?
Venetians don’t leave their city due to overtourism only. Mentioning tourism as the only cause making Venetians leave is what strikes me in international news, and which in my opinion is far from covering the complete picture.
The true reason for Venetians leaving is actually a combination of changing lifestyle and the environmental and housing crises. Currently, our city has 52,781 inhabitants, compared to approx. 123,000 people living in Venice in the 1960s. It also happens (and that’s normal in my opinion) that young Venetians wish to explore a different lifestyle and work experience for a while, moving abroad or living on the mainland.
Second, here in Venice we live in buildings that are often more than 500 years old: Maintenance can be very demanding and costly, forcing people to sell and leave their family homes. Often, these buildings are bought by investors and turned into luxury apartments not accessible to Venetians.
Another reason why Venetians started leaving their city and the Lagoon in the first place, with a first wave of more than 8,000 Venetians leaving the city and Lagoon occurred after the disastrous flooding of 4 November 1966, which destroyed one third of agricultural areas in the northern Lagoon. What is today called L’Orto dei Dogi near the Cavallino, was then covered with a rhick and poisonous layer of cruide oil-soaked mud.
Fourth, and almost never mentioned, a growing number of Venetians left because they lost their work: In the 1970s and early 1980s, Italian and international ompanies and banks had their headquarters or rep offices located in Venice. Banks and insurance companies were moving over to the mainland, leaving behind the Venetians who had to look for a new job. Often, they found work in the tourism sector, or they left the city as well, following their employers onto the mainland cities of the Veneto (Padua, Vicenza, Verona in particular).
Can this issue be dealt with by higher taxes or rerouting cruise ships? Or is it something Venetians simply need to put up with?
Venetians, during their almost 1600 years of history, have always stood up for their city. We shape circumstances actively, and we are doing it today: You could see the reaction of the people protesting in front of the Doge’s Palace on Piazza San Marco following the cruiseship accident on June 2nd, 2019.
Civil movements and committees discuss solutions based on expert opinions. The cruise ship incidents exasperate Venetians, a momentum has been building up during the past five years. Still, there are many opinions in town and different interests to consider. We are currently in the process of decision making, which does slow down the pace for the time being, and we are losing valuable time for it is our generation who is responsible for the survival of Venice. Every day counts, in my opinion.
In many areas of life requiring urgent action, such as the housing crisis, the Rialto Market losing clients and groceries leaving Venice, we are aware that we are lagging behind. Entry fees and taxes for visitors probably won’t change much, but educating tourists most probably will in the mid-term.
Moving cruise ships out of the Lagoon is a must: Experts of the universities of Venice and Padua agree that by excavating and dredging canals, the ecosystem of the Lagoon would be further damaged and its balance tilted beyond recovery.
Currently, a solution is proposed by hydraulic experts teaching at the universities of the Veneto (notably Ca’ Foscari, Università degli Studi di Padova, Venice International University) to set up a floating port in the same place where it had been for more than 700 years, off the Cavallino peninsula. Here, ships could dock and passengers reach Venice on board smaller vessels. I’m covering this topic in detail in this blog post sharing the best practice solutions implemented by the Republic of Venice. That is, until the year 1797, when La Serenissima ceased to exist.
Click here to read the English version Dopo l’incidente a Venezia lo scorso 2 giugno quando una nave da crociera si è schiantata contro un battello turistico e la banchina nel Canale della Giudecca, si sono scatenate le discussioni sul futuro della città di Venezia e lo spostamento del porto turistico.
Prima di discutere, bisogna conoscere le caratteristiche della Laguna: La città senza la Laguna non esiste: qualsiasi proposta riguardante il porto deve prendere in considerazione sei termini, usati per discutere sullo sviluppo della Laguna dagli ingegneri veneziani fin dall’ XI secolo.Continue reading “Sei termini raccontano i segreti della Laguna di Venezia”
Click here to read the Italian version Following the cruise ship accident of 2 June 2019, discussions were sparked on the future of Venice and a possible referendum on the new location of the port of Venice.
Six terms explain what works and what doesn’t for the Lagoon and Venice. There is no Venice without the Lagoon: Thus, any proposal regarding the port of Venice has to take six terms into account, used by Venetian engineers since the 11th century.Continue reading “How the Lagoon of Venice Works, Explained in Six Terms”
On 2 June 2019, a cruise ship accident happened in Venice: MSC Opera, paralized by a motor defect just after passing Piazza San Marco, was drifting helplessly for 500 meters, past the major symbol of our city, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salute. Two tug boats were able to delay the accident, pulling the 65-ton cruise vessel towards the port area where it crashed into the San Basilio embankment.
This accident sparked debates, in Venice, Veneto and Italy, and beyond. We received a number of questions from readers which we are sharing in this post.
Could Venice withstand the impact from a cruiseship?
The embankment of San Basilio was damaged, but then, this area of Dorsoduro, the former Santa Marta orchards and gardens, is built on the most solid island group of the Lagoon. Shock waves irradiate after such a heavy impact, destablizing buildings: Had this accident happened to any other fondamenta (embankment) in Venice, resting on wooden poles protected by centuries-old brickstones, damage would have been incalcolable.
Could we have lost Venice?
Had the cruiseship crashed into any other fondamenta (embankment), wide parts of Venice including landmark buildings, such as Santa Maria della Salute, built on 40,000 wooden poles, would have been destroyed.
How do cruiseships damage the Lagoon?
The invisible damage cruise ships inflict upon the Lagoon is due to fine dust emissions, fuel loss, and the deep water canals that must be continuousy maintained, enlarged and excavated. Excavation works of this dimension disturb the watershed running through Venice: The northern Lagoon consists of freshwater zones while the southern Lagoon, home to extensive fishing zones (valli da pesca) has more in common with the open sea. When salt water infiltrates fresh water pockets due to the malfunctioning of watersheds, flora and fauna are seriously impaired: The balance of the ecosystem of the Lagoon is destroyed, as Professor Luigi D’Alpaos repeats in his latest book, SOS Laguna of 19 May 2019.
Excavating and enlarging the canals also reduces the number of barene (marshlands) in the Lagoon significantly. Barene work miracles filtering out emissions and fuel losses from cruise ships and oil tankers. Since 1920, when the first deep water canals were excavated following the construction of the Marghera industrial complex, the Lagoon lost more than one third of barene, which soak up high tides and prevent the city from being flooded.
Is shifting the cruise traffic to Canale Vittorio Emanuele III a sustainable solution?
Canale Vittorio Emanuele III connects Stazione Marittima (Port of Venice) to Marghera (Industrial Zone). The area, including the islands Sacca Sessola and Poveglia, isn’t safe (sandy and shifting underground (subsidenza phenomena), seaquakes, one of which destroyed Malamocco). To allow cruise ships pass through this canal, it would have to be excavated further, impacting the watershed (see above). Si travolge l’ecosistema.
Could shifting the cruise ships to Chioggia be a long-term solution?
Chioggia is a small city in the southern Lagoon located next to the Bocca di Porto di Chioggia (inlet), dedicated to fishing and fish farming. Off its shores in the Adriatic Sea towards Sottomarina, the tegnue area begins. These are reef formations which nobody ever mentions?? Setting up port facilities + cruiseship infrastructure in this area would severely impact and pollute the fishing grounds and reef area.
Who takes the decisions on cruise ships in Venice, and when?
The Italian Secretary of Infrastructure and Transportation, Danilo Toninelli (m5s), takes the decision on whether to ban the cruise ships from Venice, or not. According to the print edition of the Venetian daily Il Gazzettino of 6 June 2019, he intends to visit Venice and discuss the options on site. A decision should be expected later in June.
What is the opinon of experts in the field of Lagoon stewardship?
Professor Luigi d’Alpaos (Università degli Studi di Padova) and his team are the foremost experts in Lagoon hydraulics and stewardship, taking up the work of Cristoforo Sabbadino, the most renowned hydraulic engineer of the Republic of Venice (1489-1650). Sabbadino was responsible for planning, co-ordinating and completing the deflection the river mouths (Brenta) and building dams (Taglio del Piave) to prevent the Lagoon turning into an uninhabitable swamp. In Trattato sulle Acque della Laguna di Venezia, Sabbadino warned against closing the bocche di porto inlets communicating with the open sea.
Professor D’Alpaos also coordinates an expert panel on Lagoon hydraulics at Istituto Veneto delle Scienze: In 2017, they published Fatti e Misfatti di Idraulica Lagunare, reaching the conclusion that Venice should follow the recommendations of the agency for Lagoon stewardship of the Republic of Venice (Magistratura alle Acque). In short: The port of Venice must be located in the same area as the ancient port facilities of the Republic of Venice, in the Adriatic Sea off the Lido island (San Nicolò).
Did the Republic of Venice (421 – 1797) allow big ships to enter the Lagoon?
No. The huge merchant cogs had to anchor outside the Lagoon, off the bocca di porto del Lido – San Nicolò. The Scanno della Pisciotta sand dune represented a barrier in a natural deep canal, connecting the port to the Arsenale of Venice.
How can I help Venice?
On 8 June 2019, a manifestation of No Grandi Navi takes place in Venice. Get updates here and learn how you can support them. Also, a petition addressing the Italian Secretary of Infrastructure has been launched, to ban cruise ships from the Lagoon. Click here to see the petition.
Are there sustainabile solutions for the future of Venice?
A wider concept of urban relaunch is being implemented, but we need to recognize it as such and work on it. This is more than a trend: Venice deserves to be a living city, positioning herself as sustainable, humane and post-industrial model city in a digitalized world. The Biennale initiatives support the cultural heritage of Venice, opening up centuries-old palaces normally closed to the public, and filling them with art and inspiration.
This is Part Two of Three in my series of Venice and the Impact of Cruise ships. You can read Part One here. Part Three will be published next week and shares the Lagoon terminology required to understand the five suggestions to create a new port area for Venice.
On 2 June, a cruise ship accident happened in Venice. Immediately afterwards, the debate on the future of these giants ploughing the Lagoon was opened. In this post, we summarize what happened, share the suggestions discussed and the solution proposed by the major expert in the field of Lagoon engineering and hydraulics, Professor Luigi d’Alpaos of the University of Padua. He also published his latest book, SOS Laguna, only two weeks ago on 19 May 2019.Continue reading “Cruise Ship Accident in Venice: What Happened on 02 June 2019”
It doesn’t feel like fall in Venice at first glance. Yet, if you take a closer look you can see the a few auburn leaves among the greenery, but that’s mostly due to one of the driest summers we’ve just been through. No, that’s not the season of Indian Summer in Venice yet (which would be mid-November).
Venice looks refreshed after this parching summer and in a way, the vegetable garden looks like we’re in for a “second spring”: Zucchini are in bloom, there are new lavender blossoms, and we will soon harvest new cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes. In short, it looks lush and fresh like you can see in the picture above, as the roses are also blossoming in town!
It’s been a busy summer as I’m working behind the scenes on a new project for La Venessiana, which we’ll present in next week’s post 🙂 Today, we’ll stick to a food topic. As you can see in these images in this article, Venice and her Lagoon are home to some of the most amazing herbs and vegetables in the world, as Arrigo Cipriani put it. The vegetables in the Lagoon aren’t as big as in southern Italy, but slightly tasting of salt due to the salty soil of the Lagoon. And there’s an incredible variety growing here in every season. Yes, also in winter!
That’s good news for those guests and Venetians who must choose their food carefully. We’d like to tell you more in this Guide to Gluten-Free Foods in Venice, complete with restaurant tips and our suggestion for your perfect Venetian gluten-free menu.
I’m writing this post as a number of readers and guests approached us with food related questions. Suffering from celiac disease doesn’t prevent you from visiting Venice. During the last five years or so, awareness and the need to offer gluten-free foods, has risen considerably in Italy. By now, it’s perfectly normal that most restaurants and cafes have gluten-free food available and will show you gluten-free dishes on their menus upon request. In many Venetian restaurants, you can also find the sign SENZA GLUTINE – GLUTEN-FREE on doors or windows.
Please note that a large portion of the food you eat in Venice is naturally gluten-free: Processed food and lots of sweets, and even excess portions of pasta and pizza are a no-go for most Venetians. In Venice we prefer to eat fish, rice, salad greens and vegetables, and to a lesser extent do we integrate our diet with pasta, bread and sweets. In addition, if you are sensitive to gluten, grocery stores and markets in Venice offer many gluten-free cakes, bread and cookies.
You will find plenty of naturally gluten-free food in Venice as the food pyramid is different in Italy. Here, the base of the pyramid is vegetables and fruit, followed by pasta, rice and bread, fish, eggs, milk and meat. Sweets and cakes form the tip of the pyramid. Generally speaking, this food pyramid looks different in central and northern European countries.
Associazione Italiana Celiachia (The Italian Association of Celiac Disease) is campaigning across Italy to raise awareness and educate restaurant owners on kitchen standards and the need to offer gluten-free menus. They are also present at the scuole alberghiere (schools specializing in tourism) in Venice and the Veneto. To be on the safe side, ACI created list of local food from A (always safe) to C (forbidden), which you can view here.
There is of course processed food in Venice: You do get sughi pronti – ready-made sugo for pasta at the supermarkets. Yet, local demand for processed food isn’t really overwhelming. For you this means that if you choose to stay in an apartment in Venice, most grocery stores offer gluten-free brands (breads, cakes, cookies …). Also, the Rialto Market is a haven for fresh and gluten-free food: Enjoy the wide choice of seasonal and local fruit, herbs, spices, vegetables, fish, eggs, and mushrooms.
(1) Tips for You to Eat Gluten-Free in Venice
- Eating at a restaurant / cafe: AIC – Gluten Free Food List: Do consult this list in English by AIC.
- Eating in your apartment: The best-known company in Italy, Germany, and Austria, producing gluten-free bread, flour, pasta and cookies is Schär. You can find this signature brand in almost all grocery and delicatessen stores in Venice. For example, Schär offers gluten-free pizza flour and Nutella-filled cookies, wafers or cornetti.
(2) Where to find Gluten-Free Food in Venice
Gluten-Free Choices For Breakfast / Snacks / Lunch
- Caffé Centrale Venezia (Piscina Frezzaria)
- Frary’s – Delicious Mediterranean Food
- Impronta Cafe Restaurant
- Algiubagiù (Cannaregio, on Fondamente Nove, next to the vaporetto and airport boat stops)
- Hotel Violin d’Oro
Gluten-Free Choices for Lunch / Dinner
- Al Giardinetto da Severino
- A Beccafico
- Vecia Cavana
- Ristorante Gran Canal
- La Porta d’Acqua
- Osteria ae Sconte (Castello)
- Rossopomodoro San Marco (San Marco – Great Neapolitan Food !)
- Ristorante Local (Salizzada dei Greci)
- Il Giardino Segreto (Cannaregio)
- Bistrot de Venise (San Marco)
- Poste Vecie (San Polo, at the Rialto Market)
- Ristorante ai Scalzi
Gluten-Free Ice Cream in Venice
- Gelateria Grom
- Gelateria Mela Verde
- Gelatoteca SuSo
- Pasticceria Rosa Salva (and practically most other pastry stores in Venice offer a range of gluten-free sweets and cakes).
(3) More Links for Gluten-Free Food in Venice
- Schär List of gluten-free restaurants in Venice (24)
- The Fork LIst of gluten-free restaurants in Venice
- Gluten-free restaurants in Venice by Venezia Help
- Hotel search in Venice (gluten-free dishes)
(4) A Gluten Free Menu from Venice – What Can You Expect?
I asked my friends at Ristorante Gran Canal / Hotel Monaco e Gran Canal to name a few examples of gluten-free foods from their menu. Here’s their (delicious!) answer:
- Antipasto di mare in salsa di broccoli: Sea food antipasto and broccoli sauce
- Risotto con gamberi al profumo di limone: Prawn risotto flavored with lemons
- Coda di rospo scottata in crema di carciofi e olive taggiasche: Coda di rospo fish with artichoke cream and black medium-sized olives
- Semifreddo agli amaretti e frutti di bosco: Frozen cream flavored with Amaretto liquor and berries.
Please note: Even though we have done in-depth research, we cannot exclude mistakes in this post. Please check with the restaurant and tell the waiter that you need to eat strictly gluten-free food. Before booking, please tell the hotel so they will have gluten-free bread and cookies available for breakfast.
This is a blog post we created especially for our readers and guests who were unsure on where to find gluten-free food in Venice. If you have a special question, please get in touch with us here, or in the comments!
When you arrive in Venice tonight, you will notice a festive air about the city, despite the crowds. Restaurants are offering fancy menus, and there are lanterns adorning the quays, i baloni del Redentor. There’s much anticipation in the air as Venice is celebrating one of the two feasts that are so truly, and only, Venetian. To some of us, this feast is even dearer than Christmas or Easter, and in this post, we are going to tell you more about it. We start by giving you the true, historical, background, in a very visual way. You probably know that Venetians celebrate the end of a deadly outbreak of the bubonic plague that killed more than one-third of the population within six months. So now, let’s dig a little deeper to see what really happened and why it coined Venetian mentality for good.
The following paragraphs are not fiction but the little known reconstruction of summer 1576 in Venice.
What I’m telling you in this post is based on the German history book, Die Pest in Venedig 1575 – 1577, relating details of how the Republic of Venice fought against the bubonic plague in 1575-77. The German-French TV Station, Arte, made a video on Venise en 1575 (Venice in 1575). Click here to watch this video in French, and here to view it in German.
Imagine being traveler in summer 1576, bound for Venice. On a sunny morning in July 1576, your boat is arriving at the Bocca di Porto del Lido, just outside the Lagoon, off a sand bank called Scanno della Piscotta (where the larger merchant boats were anchoring. Contrary to our times, large boats were never allowed into the Lagoon).
Along the quays, there is sheer chaos. Goods are perishing in the sun, unpacked and unraveling. The Venetian military are patrolling the Lagoon entry. The only boats allowed in are cogs from Istria and Dalmatia, carrying olive oil, dried cheese, twice-baked breads, and heaps of pine branches, bunches of freshly picked rosemary, salvia and thyme.
Business, and life, in Venice has come to a complete standstill, for this is a city struck by the bubonic plague, claiming 60,000 lives, that is, one third of the population, within six months.
In July 1576, Venice is still caught in her fight against this highly contagious disease. The cities on the Dalmatian coast are stepping in voluntarily (read more about Venice and Dalmatia here), offering help and taking over business for a Venice completely shut down. They did save Venice, by the way.
Imagine you arrive in the Lagoon on board a Dalmatian ship carrying pine twigs and herbs, so what can you see inside the Lagoon? To the left, you can make out about a thousand (!!) Venetian boats of all sizes anchored in the shallow waters, which is a surprising sight indeed. These boats are the temporary home to the victims of the plague, a sort of mini hospitals, because the two Lazzaretto islands, where monasteries are caring for the stricken people, can’t take in more patients. To the right, you can see another thousand (!!) boats or so moored off the island Lazzaretto Vecchio (in front of the Lido).
Part of the pine twigs, food and herbs are delivered to the islands Lazzaretto Vecchio (off the Lido) and Lazzaretto Nuovo (next to Sant’Erasmo), and the rest is dumped along Riva degli Schiavoni in Venice. Venetian physicians asked for the herbs and pine twigs, hoping to kill the germs by burning pines and herbs and enveloping the sick people in this healing smoke. Aromatherapy, Venetian style. The herbs delivered by the Dalmatian cities to Venice were also used to prepare potions for the sick. This method, combining herbs and healing smoke, first developed by Hippocrates, did work, and three times as many lives were saved in Venice than in other European cities during episodes of the bubonic plague.
And what does Venice look like herself in this torrid July of 1576? Streets are empty, while heaps of pine twigs are burnt on the campi. The Senate of the Republic of Venice just ordered the Venetians to stay in their houses for eight consecutive days, in order to reduce contagion. People seen in the steets are put into prison, so the emergency measures work and people stay at home. On the campi and in the courtyards, the Venetian state police, monks, nuns, and physicians are taking care of the fires burning the herbs, and distributing food and water to the residents. The Lagoon is enveloped in a healing cloud of smoke, yet, the outbreak of this bubonic plague lasted until December 1576.
On 3 September 1576, Doge and Patriarch make a festive vow to build a church on the island Giudecca, a garden island during those times. Crossing a makeshift bridge made of 170 boats, to reach the church from the Zattere quays, the Government, the Patriarch and the Venetians made their first pilgrimage in summer 1577, when the Redentore church was still made of wood and architect Andrea Palladio at work, planning the white marble church that we can see today.
But now, let’s take you back into our times! How do we celebrate El Redentor – the Redeemer today? With lots of summer food, fireworks, and regattas! Here’s the link to our Page dedicated to the Redentore Feast, where we share menus, the program and more resources!
Until about fifty years ago, the Redentore Feast was celebrated on a smaller scale, says Grandmother Lina. It was almost a private feast as Venetian families gathered in the evening, bringing picnic baskets and wine to enjoy a dinner in the rambling, private gardens on Giudecca, or along the quays around the Redentore Church. Many also chose to remain in their neighborhood, celebrating on the campo or in the courtyard with friends and neighbors, or inviting guests onto the rooftop terrace 🙂
Venetians in the 1950s did recall how pines and herbs once saved the lives of their ancestors:
On the night of the Redentore Feast, they adorned gardens with pine and juniper twigs and ate dishes flavored with herbs, amongst the baloni del Redentor, paper lanterns, usually yellow but sometimes also red and blue. And, there was a special dish served in the evening, which we seem to have forgotten at all: Summer frittelles, made from almond milk, olive oil, flour, dried cheese, and flavored with rosemary, sage and thyme. The ingredients brought to Venice by the ships from Dalmatia … We will share this recipe by Nonna Lina in our book Roses and Spices.
Click on the image below and join the Venetians celebrating their own feast, when the Redentore church is linked to the city by a pontoon bridge spanning Canale della Giudecca. We include links to webcams, so you can watch the fireworks, see the menus and add more links on the background of this special evening.