A peek inside the Church of the Redentore, with Jesus high above the altar. The church was built in thanks for the end of the bubonic plague in 1576–and they’re still celebrating today. Well, wouldn’t you? The parish and neighborhood has its sagra at this time every year, with the fireworks festival and the regatta.
Another fun part of the festa: the tombola! I played it on both Saturday and Sunday, for a euro per ticket. A volunteer rolls the tombola to mix things up, then pulls the ticket out and hands it over. If you get a word like “orso” or “tigre,” the volunteers pull a prize from that labeled box, but if you’re really lucky, you get a numbered ticket for a particular prize, such as a toy, Murano glass vase, or whatever flotsam people have cleaned out of their closets to donate to the raffle.
After winning earrings and a sponge last year, I was even more excited to see what luck would bring me this time. On Saturday before the fireworks, B, Laura, and I played a round. I bought two tickets, hoping to increase my luck.
With my first ticket, I won…
But the second ticket was a numbered ticket, which usually means a real prize, not just pantyhose or another sponge. The kid brought me a package…
We went back the next day to watch the regatta and couldn’t resist playing again. Vonda, my American friend who runs the tour company A Beautiful Woman in Venice and who gave me the idea for my book, joined us.
Laura won a package of tissues, and Vonda swapped her a camouflage pencil for them. This time I won a VHS video of a nature show. Unfortunately, I have no way to play it, and it’s a European version as well, so I ended up leaving it on a table for someone to get a surprise gift.
We also indulged in some candied nuts and admired this year’s selection of balloons.
We trekked back across the Redentore Bridge, which is built only for the festival and stays up for about 24 hours.