If you are planning a holiday in Venice during the month of November, you will be able to witness the least touristy event in the lagoon city, the Festa della Salute (the Feast of Good Health), which takes place every year on the 21st November.
Booking one of our rental apartments in the Sestriere (district) of Dorsoduro, the Salute – Accademia zone, will put you in a prime position for watching the procession of many thousands of Venetians who still today flock to the imposing Chiesa della Salute to give thanks to the Virgin Mary in front of the main altar. This event is linked to the terrible plague of 1630-31 and to the vow made by the then Doge to dedicate a church to the Virgin Mary so that she would release them from the plague. During this festival, you will be able to see for yourself how much the occasion means to the Venetians. It is a deeply religious and spiritual event in which everyone participates and the feelings it evokes tie in perfectly with Venetian history and tradition.
A temporary votive bridge on boats is constructed especially for the Festa della Madonna della Salute. It joins the zone of San Moisè and Santa Maria del Giglio in the Sestriere of San Marco with the Basilica del Longhena in the Sestriere of Dorsoduro, allowing the procession of those participating in the festival to cross the Grand Canal. Thousands of people usually participate in this pilgrimage to give thanks to the Madonna and to light a candle to ask for good health. When you take part in it, you will see a long, uninterrupted line of people crossing the votive bridge, which is an important emblem of the close tie between Venice and the Madonna. As in all good festivals and traditions, the more secular aspect of the occasion is not forgotten and you will be able to wander amongst the stalls of sweets, toys and balloons which are set up around the church.
For believers, the Festa della Madonna della Salute is the perfect moment to celebrate the sacrament of penitence to purify the spirit. For the faithful, there are many confessors there who have been given the authority in perpetuity by the Patriarch to absolve certain sins. Book one of our comfortable rental apartments during this period and make the most of your holiday in Venice. You will be staying in one of the most beautiful and unforgettable cities in the world as if you were in your own home and you will be able to experience this delightful festival mingling with the Venetians as if you too were an inhabitant of the city.