Yesterday, all of Venice celebrated the end of the Bubonic Plague. We’re so glad it ended so many years ago! Actually, I’m guessing that many revelers are more interested in drinking prosecco and eating watermelon and watching the fireworks and probably don’t even know the origins of the festival.
I walked up the Zattere and crossed the temporary bridge erected on pontoons for the Redentore weekend. The wind whipped the waves and kept the bridge swaying in quite a disconcerting way. You can see everyone in their boats heading towards the bacino, moving in for the fireworks.
The festival is an opportunity for the local parish to raise funds for the poor. B and I paid our euros, watched the rotolo spin, and crossed our fingers for a good ticket.
Mine said “tigre” on it, which meant that my prize came from the large bin full of small packages. (Not sure what that has to do with a tiger.) Here I am showing off my new earrings. B won a Murano glass tumbler, but one that looks like it was the practice cup that nobody wanted to keep.
The sun began to set, and we needed to find a place to sit.
You can see that some people carry in their own chairs. Others dine in style at tables or on their boats, while some picnic on the ground.
We were sorry to see that no one used this couch all night.
At 11:30 the fireworks finally began! Photos cannot possibly capture live fireworks, but I offer these few pictures to give you an idea. Floating platforms were lined up across the lagoon in front of San Marco, and the fireworks that shot up from these created a panoramic plane that filled our view. It was like the stars were falling from the sky.
A little boy stood in the window behind us, up way past his bedtime. As he anticipated the fireworks’ booming report, he’d yell out, “Pom pom pom!”
“We celebrate the end of the plague,
the end of the plague,
the end of the plague!
We celebrate the end of the plague,
Thank you to holy Virgin Mary!”
Why would no one sing this song with me??