Venice Travel Videos

Festa del Redentore 2012


ABOVE: A rowing race on the Giudecca Canal during last year's Festa del Redentore.

Every summer, Venice has a celebration called the Festa del Redentore, which translates as Feast or Festival of the Redeemer. The two-day event dates back to the 1577, and it commemorates the city's deliverance from a plague.

During the festival, a temporary pontoon bridge is floated into place on the Giudecca Canal. Thousands of Venetians and tourists walk from the historic center's Dorosoduro district to the island of La Giudecca, where the local Roman Catholic patriarch addresses the crowd from the steps of the Redentore ("Redeemer") Church. Other activities during the weekend include a mass, rowing races, and a huge fireworks display.

This year's Festa del Redentore takes place on Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15. As a preview, we offer two short videos from the 2011 festival below. For a list of events during the festival, see Venezia Marketing & Eventi's English-language Festa del Redentore 2012 page.

Daytime: Pontoon Bridge and Boats

In this video, you can see the pontoon bridge and the boats that crowd into St. Mark's Basin and the Giudecca Canal on the opening day of the Festa.

Look carefully, and you'll see a barge with a porta-potty, an ambulance, and--perhaps a bit oddly--a boat of the Polizia Penitenziaria, the Italian prison police.


Nighttime: More crowds and fireworks

Our second video was taken from the Dorsoduro end of the pontoon bridge between the historic center of Venice and La Giudecca. It begins with a shot of a man tending his boat's barbecue in the foreground; after that, you'll see short excerpts from the brilliant fireworks display, which lasted about half an hour.


Need a hug in Venice? Find a friendly Venetian.

A hug in the Campo San Polo, Venice

ABOVE: A dancing lesson, or a friendly farewell?

Venice isn't just a city of churches, museums, masked balls, and 15-euro Bellinis at Harry's Bar. It's also a great playground for children--including preschoolers like our grandson Jack, who visited us for several weeks and had a wonderful time exploring the city.

We took the video below in the Campo San Polo, where Jack had an encounter with a dog and made friends with a local girl:


Dead body in a Venice canal

Venice canal

ABOVE: The Jordanian drowning victim was discovered floating upright, with his head half-submerged, in this quiet canal near Venice's Canpo San Polo.

by Durant Imboden

This morning, I saw the dead body of a young man in Carnival costume in a canal between the Campiello Albrizzi (where we're currently living) and the Campo San Polo.

A group of Carabinieri (state police) were standing at the edge of the canal, waiting for a fireboat to come and retrieve the body from the water.

While I was observing the scene, a lady walked by, crossed herself, and looked teary-eyed as she murmured "Che terribile!" before averting her eyes and crossing a bridge.

Later, a report in la Nuova said the victim was a 27-year-old Jordanian restaurant waiter named Albarakat Mohamed who had slipped, fallen into a canal, and drowned. (No signs of violence were reported.)

This was the second canal drowning in Venice during Carnival: The first, which was reported in both la Nuova and Il Gazzettino,  involved a Chinese man who was found in the Grand Canal near the San Marco Vallaresso vaporetto stop. An autopsy hadn't yet been performed on that victim, but the press were speculating that the man may have become intoxicated during Carnival, fallen into the canal, and drowned.

Here's a video that I shot a few hours after this morning's incident to show where the unfortunate Mr. Mohamed's body was found. (I didn't have my camera with me this morning, and I wouldn't have taken photos of the body in in any event, out of respect for the deceased and his family.)