Redeemer Festival in Venice is definitely one of the most awaited moments in the city. On the third Satu...">
Hidden treasures

Plague and Quarantine in Venice

Historical Curiosities
La_Peste

Plague and Quarantine in Venice

The Redeemer Festival in Venice is definitely one of the most awaited moments in the city. On the third Saturday in July, Venetians, students and tourists wait for the fireworks in St Mark's basin, along the banks or on board colourful boats set up in an ad hoc arrangement for the evening.

In reality, the Redeemer Festival is a reminder of a terrible incident that struck the city in the summer of 1575. It was a terrible epidemic plague that caused 50,000 deaths in two years and nearly one out of three Venetians. On this occasion, like previous epidemics, the government tried to stem the contamination with a special quarantine.

The first originated in Ragusa (Dubrovnik), but in Venice, the authorities had already banned ships suspected of infection entering the port. The boats then had to stop at the Customs (now home to the Pinaut collection) or, if considered dangerous, they were sent to the island of Lazzaretto, where they had to wait for 40 days.

This period of 40 days has no value from a scientific point of view, but stems from the widespread belief in the ancient world that the number 40 represented a significant period, especially of spiritual preparation, purification and penance. In the Judeo-Christian tradition there are various examples of such periods: the flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights, for a similar period Moses listened to the words of God on Mount Sinai, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert (an event mentioned in the Christian Lent , a period of preparation for Easter) and 40 days after the Resurrection He ascends to heaven.

Would you like to listen to other fascinating anecdotes about Venice? The author of our column will tell you many other interesting facts and personally accompany you on a private guided tour of Venice. Contact us now to request her availability!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Padua: The Castle of Catajo

catajo
Historical Curiosities

Cities in the Italian Veneto region are full of history and fascinating monuments... But the countryside surrounding them reserves just...

View

Venice: Mozart in Venice

mozart
Big Names

There is no doubt that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Salzburg 1756-Vienna 1791) is one of the greatest musicians of all time... It is not su...

View

Vicenza: The Cryptoporticus of Piazza Duomo in Vicenza

criptoportico_vicenza
Unknown places & works

Vicenza is famous all over the world for its sixteenth-century monuments by the great architect Andrea Palladio and is a UNESCO heritag...

View

Venice: A high relief of Hercules on the façade of Tintoretto’s house

casa-tintoretto-venezia
Mysteries & Legends

In the Cannaregio district in Venice stands the house of the famous painter Jacopo Robusti, known as 'Tintoretto' (1519-1594). On the f...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View

Treviso: Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso

casa-dei-carraresi-treviso
Historical Curiosities

One of the most famous places of the city of Treviso is the so-called Casa dei Carraresi, which takes its name from the noble family of...

View

Vicenza: The relics of the Thorn in the church of Santa Corona in Vicenza

santa-corona
Unknown places & works

One of the most important churches of Vicenza is undoubtedly Santa Corona. It was founded by the Dominicans in 1260s to house the preci...

View

Venice: The Ghost of the Biennale Gardens in Venice

Statua_zolli
Mysteries & Legends

At the entrance of the Biennale Gardens in Venice is the statue of the Resurgence hero Giuseppe Garibaldi. Few notice, however, that be...

View