The Festa del Redentore began as a feast held on the day of the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer, to give thanks for the end of the terrible plague of 1576 that killed 50,000 people. Andrea Palladio built the beautiful church, il Redentore on Giudecca Island, and it was consecrated in 1592. Now the feast is held the third Sunday of July, and Venetians and visitors come from all over the city to decorate their boats, or set up tables along the Zattere, waiting to watch the fireworks at midnight. We had a front row seat right in the apartment! Thousands of people walked across the bridge to see the church.
After their rowing lesson, we all went to the Rialto Mercato. The boys took off for lunch, while Brad, Shannon, Lea and I bought a ton of food for our special picnic dinner. We had all kinds of meats, cheeses, breads, fruits, caprese salad, green salad, watermelon, and Lea's delicious potato fritatta. There was plenty of wine and cookies and sgropino for dessert. The adults stopped at my favorite cicchetti bar, Ruga Rialto, for a snack and glass of vino. As we returned to the apartment with arms full of shopping bags, there were already many people, setting up tables and chairs by our apartment. We set out our picnic food and took showers, then we took turns walking across the bridge to the church.