Hidden treasures

The Festival of Saint Stefano in Venice

Local Traditions

The Festival of Saint Stefano in Venice

In the past in Venice the Christmas festivities lasted until 26 December, Boxing Day. In fact, after listening to the evening Mass on December 25 at St Mark's Basilica, the Doge and his entourage crossed St Mark's basin through a tunnel, prepared for the occasion, to the nearby island of San Giorgio Maggiore, where there is a church of the same name.

The island of San Giorgio Maggiore is home to one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries in Venice, which was founded in the tenth century, and the church, dedicated to St. George, dates as far back as the eighth century. The building, which now houses the Giorgio Cini Foundation, was completely rebuilt in a Renaissance style by the famous architect Andrea Palladio during the second half of the 15th century.

In the church the Doge worshiped the relics of Saint Stefano, kept there since 1109. During the next day the Doge celebrated with his entourage in St Mark's Square whilst the local and noble people paraded the streets wearing masks. Boxing Day, in fact, marked the start of the Venice Carnival, a very long period since it ended on Ash Wednesday (March or April).

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima

Big Names

Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Ver...


Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...


Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...


Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...


Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...


Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...


Verona: The roman walls of Verona

Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...