Festa della Madonna della Salute

21 November 2008

This famous celebration saw its origins in the devastating epidemic of plague during the war against Austria of 1630. The Senate and the Doge Nicol Contarini decided to pray to the Virgin Mary for help, electing to build a church in her honour despite the continuation of the plague.

The plague finally ceased in November 1631, and the Venetian government hurried themselves in fulfilling their promise: the architect Baldassare Longhena was chosen to begin construction on the church dedicated to the Madonna della Salute (salute = health and the edifice was finally completed 65 years later.

Every year on the 21 November the celebrations begin with a procession led by the Patriarch, starting from Saint Marks and crossing over a bridge made of boats over the Grand Canal, concluding finally in the solemnity of the church itself. The locals flock in their thousands to give thanks to the Virgin at her church, illuminated by hundreds of candles carried by the faithful. Along the route and in front of the building stalls are erected selling candles, cakes, biscuits and other sweetsThe boat bridge runs across the Grand Canal, Campo S.ta Maria del Giglio (Saint Marks side) and Calle S. Gregorio from Dorsoduro.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff


Period: 21 November 2008

Event location: Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute - Venezia

Contacts: APT di Venezia
tel. (+39)0415298711
fax. (+39)0415230399

Web site: http://www.turismovenezia.it