The “Festa della Salute” is definitely the best non-touristy event in Venice and evokes a strong popular religious sense.
Just like the famous “Redentore” this festivity is the reminiscent of a terrible plague (1630-1631) and the consequent vow by the Doge to obtain the intercession of the Virgin Mary. For the end of the plague a new church was built in Venice: the so called Church of Santa Maria della Salute (Saint Mary of Health). This church was constructed very close to the Punta della Dogana and is one of the best Venetian baroque expressions.
Every year the city of Venice celebrates on November 21st the Festa della Salute. Thousands of people cross the votive bridge of boats and go on a pilgrimage to the church of Salute (health) to pay homage to the Virgin Mary and to light a candle to intercede for their health.
During the plague, in the long period of isolation that Venice suffered, the Dalmatians supplied the city with what they had, mostly mutton. The typical Venetian “Castradina” is an ancient dish which is possible to taste in Venice for only a dozen days during the year, the main ingredient is mutton. This typical Venetian dish tells the story and the tenacity of the Venetian people!
Location: Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice
Event date: November 21st, 2019