Venice Aliens

venice aliens

The lagoon, Eternity and the Venice Aliens 

The other day I read an article by Nicolò Porcelluzzi. The name of the article was The Aliens of the Venice Lagoon and if you’re familiar with the Italian language you can find it here.

In the article, Porcelluzzi is talking about the Lagoon and about the radical changes there has been in recent years. The modern civilization as always put the natural balance out of order. One might think that for eons nature was always the same, the trees, the grass, the birds, the fish, and the mud… It has always been there until man started destroying everything by using concrete, building factories and starting industrialism.

venice aliensBut in the case of the Venice lagoon, it’s not so. In fact, the lagoon as we see it today is a product of human activity. The huge city of Venice, as it was in the middle ages and even before that, needed water, waterways, wood, and food. So the Venetians changed nature to fit the demands of their population. Because Venice was one of the very few Metropolis in the middle ages, and it was situated in a spot where nothing was for free, it had to be created. 

Rivers were diverted, islands were created and canals were built. Just look at the big landmass at Punta Sabbioni. 150 years ago that didn’t exist. The border between the lagoon and the sea was Sant’Erasmo, an island that is now well inside the lagoon. 

So, the environment around Venice is constantly evolving and it has always been that way. But Porcelluzzi’s article is uncovering the acceleration of the changes. Accelerations to a point where we maybe cannot defend its uniqueness anymore. And the responsibility is in fact, as I mentioned before, in the hands of man, and human activity… Concrete and factories… And ships. But while man in the middle ages had moderate resources to alter his surroundings (…still the Venetians did a good job of changing land, sea and the in-betweens…), we now are more able in that sense. 

The threats to the Venice Lagoon

Porto Marghera, the huge harbor to the west of Venice, on the landside, has always been a love-hate affair to the Venetians. It offered richness and jobs, but the petrochemical industry polluted the water. After the crisis and political changes of modern times, this particular industrial activity is more or less closed down. There’s still a lot of business, but not as pollutive as in the 50s, 60s and the 70s. Good! Instead, we have the other industries, the trade and the tourism that for every year increase the impact on the lagoon. 

venice aliens

Every year around 3500 ships moor in Venice. That’s 10 ships every day. The cruise ships go through Canale della Giudecca in the center of Venice, while the others travel the Malamocco-Marghera canal. The ships’ propellers whip the water together with the sludge and the microorganisms. And they ad their own microfauna to the mix… Fish, invertebrates, and plants from other parts of the Mediterranean or other parts of the world, far away from Venice, Aliens. 

This is all normal. Every lifeform tries to survive and expand, that’s the whole idea of nature.  So, as the lagoon changes over the centuries, even the animals and plants that populate it change, adapting. In recent decades, however, unforeseen evolutions of this equilibrium are occurring, and the cause is, of course, the human introduction of vertebrates and invertebrates who lived for millennia or millions of years in other parts of the world.

Venice Aliens – Catching mussels 

Between 1995 and 2000, a few kilometers from Piazza San Marco, 40.000 tons of clams were collected every year. Venice from one year to the other became the European capital of shellfish thanks to an animal that has nothing to do with the history of Venice: the Manila clam.

This animal was imported from the Philippines. Thanks to its fertility it soon competed strongly for the territory and pushed back the domestic clam Chamelea gallina. An alien introduction that has created wealth, a lot of it and in a short time. But in the end, it was a total disaster. Apart from the ecological and environmental problems it caused, in 2012 the production had gone down to 2.000 tons a year. A few glorious years of commerce that in the end cost many times more than it earned.

Not only the Manila clam has arrived from the Far East; alongside it, there are the prawns of Louisiana and the zebra mussels of Eastern Europe, exterminating biodiversity. And somewhere in the mud hides the Japanese oyster. In the humid areas, the Asian tiger mosquitoes, the hornet, and the woodworm proliferate, transported in the last twenty years by tires, porcelains, and bonsai.

Venice Aliens – Fishing 

a Fishermans dream
Wels Catfish. Photo courtesy of Carlos Recalde.

But there’s more… The Balkan frog, pelophylax kurtmuelleri is growing its population and the catfishes are slowly taking over the whole sweetwater river- and lake system. The huge Wels Catfish, silurus glanis is now completely dominant in the northern Italian rivers. While in northern Europe this is a protected species, in Italy it has found a perfect environment though and is becoming more or less the only species in the river Po, much to the joy of the many specimen fishers. Catches of over 100 kilograms happen regularly. The rivers inside the lagoon have similar problems. Soon the catfish will be the only fish there too.

“Watercourses are very vulnerable to the invasion of foreign organisms, te Venice Aliens, also because water facilitates the mobility of species, and aquatic species tend to expand very rapidly.” This is said by Piero Genovesi, known as Papik, the highest Italian authority on the subject, and head of the wildlife coordination department of the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (Ispra).

“The presence of allochthonous appears to be constantly increasing”, and has now reached and exceeded 50 percent of the entire regional fish fauna. Half of all the fishes come from other parts of the world… The picture becomes even scarier if you look at the entire biomass, including microorganisms and plants. Then the figure is 80% aliens… four-fifth of the living things in the water around Venice shouldn’t even be there! 

A global problem

The situation is similar in all coastal regions in the Mediterranean but nowhere is it as serious as in Venice. But still what is an alien? When do you become local? How many years, decades, centuries do you have to live in a place before you’ve become a part of it?

Venice Aliens

Many of the species that we may think are ours, in reality, were introduced in our biosphere from outside. The Italian landscape is full of Prickly pears, Opuntia. It’s so full of it that we think we kind of invented it, together with the Cypress, standing in rows as in attention in Tuscany. They’re both non-Italian. As are the mouflons, the porcupines, the poppies and thousands of other species. But we still regard them as ours.

It made me think about something a friend of mine told me. She’s a politician from northern Europe and was once part of a big congress in Africa. Sitting at the dinner she had a politician from Tanzania at the table and they talked about this and that. At a point where the conversation was going a bit slowly, she suddenly said: “You know, one of our smallest birds go all the way to Tanzania for the winter residence…”  The African colleague looked at her and said: “What makes you think it’s yours?”

Brothers: Unify the World!

Often we think of nature, as we think about everything else, in a very local, shortsighted way. We travel, animals travel, and things, ideas, and concepts travel. But when 80% of the biomass is alien, then there’s a genuine risk of conformity. The whole world is getting exactly the same. And what a boring world it would be. 

And this is where Life ASAP Alien Species Awareness Program is inserted, a project co-financed by the European Union that tries to contain the consequences of alien invasions through information and awareness campaigns and support. Thanks to Life ASAP, schools, horticulturists and veterinarians are kept informed. But, as always, information, debate and a good will can do only so much. As bad as the situation is right now, it will become worse in the future. The climate change will make the Mediterranean warmer, more tropical, and the living conditions for “our” species will get tougher, more suitable for African- and Asian ones.

The problem of invasive alien species is three-dimensional: It is an environmental-, perceptive- and political problem.

  1. Environment: By burning fossil fuels we are on a road that we do not know where it will lead us. We know, though, that if we do not stop burning petrol, coal, and gas, these issues will become harder and harder to resolve. And it will cost more money for every step we take in the wrong way.
  2. Perception. This involves the education of citizens, in homes and schools, young and old. People will have to understand the consequences of every action they take, they need to know what the cost is for their choices, not only in money but also in health, well being’ and future. And when they do, the third part is inevitable…
  3. Political awareness. And the politicians can no longer waver: Urgent measures must be taken to contain at least the economic and health consequences of the problem.

allochthonous Life form 80% of the living things in the lagoon and the rivers and canals around it are aliens. That’s bad, that’s very bad. But I still think that it could even be 100%, a complete flora, and fauna that doesn’t belong here… A complete take over by the allochthonous. It could very well come to a future where we have to accept conformity, boredom just to survive. We could have the same trees, flowers, insects, and fishes all over the planet. Goodbye biodiversity!

And if it would come to that, if all life in the Venetian lagoon would be the same as everywhere else… Then, at least, let’s save it, let’s make it live on and not perish. A dead environment is still worse than a boring one… And maybe in a thousand years, we can again call it our own very special Laguna di Venezia… And the Venice aliens won’t be nor aliens nor Venetians. 


Venice Art Biennale

Venice Art Biennale without paying a cent

Venice Art Biennale at Giardini and Arsenale costs 25 euro. Not much in Venice is free. Actually not much even has a reasonable price tag, especially if you move between the big tourist attractions like Saint Mark’s Belltower, the Basilica, and the Doges Palace. Then if you sit down on the square and have your 19:50 euro-coffee, then the wallet really starts emptying in a worrying way.

So what if I told you that you can visit 33 national exhibitions, all part of the 58th edition of the Venice Art Biennale. Artists from every corner of the world come to Venice to display and express their thoughts about the world in which we live… And you can visit them for free. No cost what so ever. Nor before you go in, neither after you’re done. Just respect the opening hours and you can move from one end of the city to the other experiencing new, innovative, artistically fabulous art and installations, videos and performing artists… And it costs nothing… Nada, Rien.  

Venetian Addresses.

I’ve made a map of all the 33 national participations spread around the city. I haven’t put any address on the dots but the position should be reasonably close. In Venice, the Address isn’t of much help anyway. Even the postmen don’t know where the numbers of the streets are. It’s all close to this, behind that, cross the bridge on your right… So if you don’t find the door, ask. There will be someone who can indicate the entrance, don’t worry. 

The history of the Biennale

Venice Art Biennale is an old lady. Already back at the end of 1800, it started out around the central building in the Biennale area at Giardini. Padiglione Centrale it’s called today. It went on for a few decades all alone, attracting the finest artists from Europe. I was going to say the world but back then Europe and the world was more or less the same thing for the Europeans. Then in the thirties, during the fascism, the Art-festival got company… The theatre-festival, the contemporary music festival, and of course, the famous Venice film-festival. All these are now held every year. The Venice film festival is the second oldest in the world, after the Academy Awards.  

Venice Art BiennaleIn the 80s the Architecture-festival was added and is now held every two years, just like the Art-festival. Odd years Art, even years Architecture. Biennale actually means every two years. 1999 the festival of contemporary dance was introduced and so the calendar was complete. 

My own suggestions

the Pavilion of Azerbaijan

It makes you think. Especially those, like me, who are active inside the internet world, with headlines, keywords, followers, likes, visitors and google algorithms. What is it all about? Why are there more words, pages, and images on the internet than the whole worlds population can read and see even if every word is watched only by one person? How can you get through the tsunami of information that we are flooded with every day? Is it even possible to determine what’s true, almost true or false? And does it matter? … Is there even such a thing as truth?Venice Art Biennale

The Lithuanian Pavilion 

A musical performance. A beach inside a military warehouse. You watch the performing artists from above as they lie on the sand. As they put sun oil on their pink bodies and chitchat about the little things. As they drink some water from the bottle, eat icecream and let their lazy characters enjoy the holiday while sleeping under the hot sun. Peace. 

Then they sing because it’s a musical performance.  The music is theatrical, word-based… An opera. As we move on the different characters reveal more personal worries and concerns, but it doesn’t really change anything. Our little thoughts about gossip and unimportant facts make us stop and sit down instead of getting up and do something. It’s slow and discouraging because, outside this little box of tranquillity, the world is going to pieces. It’s dying… While we wait. 

The Lithuanian Pavilion won the Golden Lion this year and the motivation was this: 

Venice Biennale
Courtesy of Angelo Greco

For the Pavilion’s experimental approach and its unexpected way in facing national representation. The jury was impressed by the original use of the display space, which stages a Brecht-inspired work, and by the active efforts of the Pavilion as regards Venice and its inhabitants. Sun & Sea (Marina) is a critique of leisure and of contemporaneity, sung by the voices of a group of performers and volunteers who interpret everyday people.

Performances every Wednesday and Saturday, though the exhibition is open every day except Monday.

If you’d like to see all the rest at Giardini and Arsenale, then 25 euro isn’t very much. For 35 euro you can go in three days, and you might need that to be able to let it all in. And then you’ll have an opportunity to see Arsenale. That is normally not open to the public, but with a ticket, you get in, at least to a part of it. Should you need a hotel close to the Biennale area, there’s a good one right here: Hotel Indigo Venice.

Any way you choose it’s a great possibility to see some of the worlds finest contemporary art by invited artists as well as national participators. 



Venice weather

Venice weather

Here we are, sitting in the shadow of a big elm tree. Not really doing anything just suffering and trying to move as little as possible. The temperature is 32° Celcius, 90 Fahrenheit and it makes your thoughts evolve slooowly. Just reflecting and thinking about the Venice weather and the Venice climate makes you sweat. It’s that hard. And here’s why…

If you want the weather forecasts, go here. This is the best and most accurate site.

Venice weatherThe Venice weather, the climate is not nice. It is cold in the winter and warm in the summer. Nothing strange about that but it is colder and warmer than in many other places in Italy. And the blame falls heavily on the humidity.

Venice weather in the summer

Ok, we know Venice is damp. There is water under the city and water in the canals around the houses. The water also falls from above and it flows in from the sea at high tide. So Venice is a damp city, nothing new under the sun.

But Venice is also located in the northeastern corner of the mighty Po Valley, the largest plain in the whole of the European Mediterranean. The Po Valley, Pianura Padana, was created after the last ice age of sediment from melting water. It has a large river in the middle, namely Po and lots of smaller rivers flowing in from the north and the south. Between the rivers, there are canals for distributing water to agriculture. For the Po Valley is amazingly fertile. Everything grows here and it grows fast under the hot sun in the rich and moist soil.

And that’s fine … We have something to eat.

It’s just that the very high humidity of the whole Po area as well as the wetness of the floating city, makes life unbearable at times. The moisture makes the cold feel colder and the heat feel hotter.

If the temperature is 30 ° Celsius, 86 ° Fahrenheit and the humidity increases, then the subjective perception of the heat increases too. Let’s imagine that we are sitting by the sea and there’s a nice breeze and the relative humidity is 50%, then it feels just like 30 °, 86 °. But if we leave the Venice weatherbeach and walk back to Venice, sneak in between the houses, the sun’s still there but there’s no wind anymore and the humidity rises to 90% … Then the subjective temperature is suddenly 41 ° Celsius, 106 ° Fahrenheit. 

That’s what often happens in the evening. In the middle of the day, the temperature is 32 ° / 90 °. It’s hot but still bearable. In the evening when you lie down in the warm and uncomfortable bed, the humidity rises to 95%. Although the temperature is a bit lower… let’s say 29 ° / 84 °, the subjective heat is 39 °, and now it is getting painful. You get up, open the fridge and grab an ice-cold Peroni. Then you sit down by the window, open the bottle cap but realize that just the effort to lift the beer bottle to your mouth makes you sweat even more.

So what do you do about this?

Because there are a few ways to cope with the summer temperatures. 

  1. Stay in the right place. Airconditioning is the keyword. Choose a hotel with airconditioning and you will at least sleep well. Although in Italy it’s considered unhealthy to shoot too much cold air around. Maybe rightfully so, but I always prefer sleeping to avoiding getting a cold. If for some reason you don’t have airconditioning, then staying at the bottom floor is always cooler, staying at the beach at Lido or Cavallino is cooler and having air flowing through the room is cooler even if the air is hot. Open the windows. Just make sure they have mosquito nets, otherwise, you won’t sleep because of the mosquitos. 
  2. Move as little as possible. The humid air penalizes moving. If you’re absolutely still then you’ will suffer less. Now that’s difficult cause you’ve come to Venice for the attractions, but still, take a lot of brakes, drink a lot and walk slowly on the shadow side. 
  3. Get someone to invite you to an Altana, the famous Venetian rooftop terrace. Up there it’s definitely better. And the view is nice. 
  4. Don’t come in the summer. This is the best advice of them all. Instead of summer, come in spring or autumn, or even in winter. Summer isn’t a good time to visit Venice. It’s not a good time to visit any city in the warm part of the world but Venice is a particularly poor choice in the hot season. 
Venice weather
Courtesy of Lucciano Bellesso

Venice weather in the winter

Ok, it’s not only for the summer weather the humidity is an important factor. Even in winter, there are a few things to be aware of. The relative humidity actually doesn’t have very much of an impact on the subjective temperature when the air is cold. Hot air, yes, but when it’s cold, the atmosphere around us can’t hold very much humidity anyway, so it isn’t significant. But… If you yourself get wet, then that’s a totally different story. And in Venice in winter there’s the rain, the fog, and the high waters.

The biggest threat, I would say, is the rain. Not that is rains on you but when the water comes down it stays on the top of the ground. The pavements of Venice are all floor tiles made of trachyte. And the stone blocks aren’t flat. So when it rains you have a myriad of puddles on the ground, irregular, deep and very difficult to avoid. If you wet your feet, then you’re in trouble. So what do you do about it?

Obviously, you wear waterproof shoes or rubber boots… Together with the warm jacket, gloves, and a warm cap you’ll be OK. 

The wind is a cooling factor though. When it’s freezing outside, every tiny increase in wind force increases the feeling of cold. So wear not only a warm jacket but a warm and windproof jacket. 

The Mediterranean climate

Another big issue is the Adriatic sea. If you look at the map you see that the eastern sea is a rather closed basin. In the south, there is a little opening between Italy and Albania but it isn’t much. It’s less deep too. Much shallower than the rest of the Mediterranean and these two facts make the Adriatic less temperature storing. In winter the water is cold. On occasions, the lagoon freezes.

On the border with France on the other side of the Peninsula, you can sometimes go swimming even in December. If you do that in Venice, you better have good health insurance.

Enough complaining!

An hour and a half with a car going north you find Dolomiti Superski. That’s 1200 kilometers, 750 miles of slopes, 450 ski lifts and  3000 square kilometers, 1150 square miles of ski area. About half of it is directly connected but the whole system features one single ski pass. 97% of it is covered with artificial snow capacity. 

On the coast towards the northeast, an hour by car, there are a few of the biggest seaside resorts in Europe, Jesolo, Cavallino-Treporti, Caorle, Bibione, etc. The touristic capacity is enormous and around 25 million people go there every year, more or less the same numbers as Venice. 

This is another effect of the big differences in temperature summer and winter.

So, maybe the Venice weather isn’t all that bad, after all?

Cruise Ship Incident

Once again there has been a Cruise Ship incident. A ship went out of control in the Giudecca Canal right outside Saint Mark’s Square. This time it was the Costa Deliziosa run by the cruise company Costa Crociere and it happened yesterday the 7th of July 2019. Terror struck once again as the 294 meters long and 32 meters beam vessel wasn’t able to make the turn as it was supposed to. The right turn between Riva degli Schiavoni and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore is extremely narrow. It’s a little more than 300 meters wide and the bend is almost 90°. 

Bad weather could have caused the Cruise Ship Incident

The weather was at the time very bad with heavy rain, hail and strong wind. According to the port authorities, it could have been these extreme conditions that made the passage develope into a situation of panic. There were three tugs connected to the ship, two at the bow and one at the stern. The two tugs at the bow did all they could to try to pull the ship away from the dock, but even with their powerful engines, it was a question of just a few feet that avoided a collision with an anchored Yacht. Even further ahead at Giardini, where two local Vaporettos were landing and leaving the platform for the pedestrians, there was a moment of panic. And on land at the Riva dei sette Martiri people couldn’t decide if they should start running or if the ship would pass without crashing into the quay. 

The foundation of Venice is wood poles stuck into the mud. If a ship like this hit the ground, it could tear down half of Castello. We’re talking about a ship of around 93.000 gross tonnage.

The responsibility

Now, just like so many times before, an investigation will be opened to try to understand the reason why this incident could happen and if there is anyone who can be held responsible and maybe even prosecuted, something that strangely enough isn’t at all certain. There are so many circumstances to consider and it could very well be determined that the weather was causing it, or a technical problem or something else.

The truth is that the problem for starters is that a boat that practically is bigger than the city itself is allowed to pass in the middle of Gondolas, Vaporettos and medieval palaces and houses. 

In the second video of the cruise ship incident, you can see how the two tugs are overloading their engines to try to keep the ship clear of the Fondamenta. You see the black smoke pouring out of the funnels of the two tugs coloring the grey sky in black. This time they managed to keep the Costa Deliziosa out on the Canal. 

Well, do something about it then!

There are various projects to resolve this situation. One idea is to build a canal from Venice to Porto Marghera in a straight line northeast. That way the cruise ships can anchor at the cruise terminal in Venice without passing through the central parts of the city. There could also be a ban for ships that are too big. They should stop at Porto Marghera and from there, the passengers could be shuttled to Venice by bus or by boat. Mayor Brugnaro is in favor of this idea since he is the owner of the land to the north of where the cruise ships would moor. There are already big plans for a huge hotel and tourist complex to the south of the Venice bridge. 

The problem with this solution is that a canal that big, that deep and that close to Venice would cause a lot of damage to the sea life as well as to the flow of water going in and out of the lagoon. On the other side of the scale, we have the increasing high tides and dredging big canals back and forth in the shallow waters doesn’t help to say the least. 

The alternative

Another way would be to build a new cruise port on the east side of Lido, maybe at Malamocco. From there the passengers visiting Venice have to be shuttled by boat. The Ships would avoid having to go into the lagoon with the tricky navigation that comes with that option. If you’d want to stay on the ship, Malamocco is a whole lot nicer than Porto Marghera to make strolls or just sit on the balcony sipping a prosecco. 

The backside of this idea is that it will cost more money. Building a Cruise Terminal isn’t cheap and then the people of Malamocco could have some objections. Having thousands of cruise ships passengers running up and down the sleeping village would change the life for many. But it could also mean a boom for local business, restaurants and all kinds of other entertainment. 

What the Mayor should do though, is to start doing something… Anything. Because sooner or later there will be a major accident if we just keep on like this. In June it went well, yesterday it went well… But luck is to an uncertain factor to build security upon.

cruise ship incident


Redentore – The Redeemer

The Feast of the Redentore is a traditional main event in Venice. Fireworks, Mass, eating and drinking. This year it takes place the 20th and the 21st of July, the third Sunday of the month. A happy celebration. The origin of it isn’t all that happy though.

The terrible Origins

The plague, the deadliest disease mankind has experienced. An eerie terror that for hundreds of years knocked out most of Europe’s population and left the few survivors in misery and fear. It also meant a unique opportunity for all kinds of doomsday theories to gain a foothold. Perhaps the most obvious was the Catholic Church’s pursuit of dissent… The Inquisition.

The first time the disease struck was in the mid-14th century. In 1346, the disease reached Constantinople and Crimea and then via land further north into the countries of Eastern Europe. In 1347 it came to Sicily and from there it spread northwards in Italy. It arrived in Venice with ships from Dalmatia in 1348.

RedentoreDoubts about the origins of the Plague

Some scientific theories, however, claim that the plague has existed in Europe ever since the Roman era, but that it could not be defined. In the Middle Ages, large cities with a lot of people had grown up throughout the continent and this was a prerequisite for the spread of the disease. But perhaps the plague existed already before that, though mortality was much smaller.

Throughout Europe, the disease changed the living conditions of millions of people. Not only because people died, but also because those who survived had to live on in a far more uncertain world. In Venice, drastic changes were made in shipping. A system of quarantine for arriving ships was introduced and in 1423 a state-run hospital was created to cope with the sick people, the first in the world. Despite all these severe measures, the plague struck 69 times in the following centuries. Every time with consequences that can hardly be understood today.

RedentoreThe church of the Redeemer – Redentore

In 1575 there was yet another wave of pestilence. From July 1, 1575, until February 28, 1577, one third of the city’s 180.000 inhabitants died. After summer 1576, when the disease appeared unstoppable, the Senate decided to pray for the divine help. They decided to build a church in the honor of the Redeemer – Il Redentore, the one who lifts all our sins.  In the autumn, when the natural cold limited the movement of the rats as well as the proliferation of the fleas, the Venetians could see a significant slowdown in the spreading of the disease. And in spring it was over. 

The Senate kept its promise and the same year the construction of one of the most impressive and lavish domes in Venice started, following Antonio Palladio‘s drawings; Basilica del Redentore. Already in the summer of 1577, a bridge was built over the Canale della Giudecca with wooden boats lashed together. The Doge, Alvise Mocenigo, promised solemnly that every year throughout his life and every year during all the Doges who’d follow, a Mass would be held on the third Sunday of July, to celebrate the salvation of the city. 

RedentoreIn 1792 the church was finished and since that day, La Festa del Redentore is one of the most important and most frequented of all of Venice’s festivals. It is also something as rare as a genuine Venetian feast. Many locals and even more tourists. You can attend Mass or just check out the fireworks.

So, this is what’s happening

First of all, it’s another Village Feast… Or really a boat Feast. The tradition is to experience the marvelous fireworks from a boat floating around on the Canale della Giudecca. The boats and ships are decorated with all kinds of artistic colored lights and balloons. On the boat, you eat the traditional dinner, pasta e fasioi (pasta and beans), bovoleti (snails).. (..srrgh!), sarde in saor (sardines), and anara col pien (stuffed duck). 

Now, the best idea is to have your own boat and eat and drink together with friends on it. But most people coming to Venice don’t bring the boat if they have one. So instead you can book yourself on a small cruise – leisure ship, have your dinner there and then see the fireworks from parquet.  

If that’s not your thing then almost all of the hotels, restaurants, and trattorias facing the canal, will offer dinner with fireworks. Even those not close to the canal will try to attract customers. 

If not even that is on your list favorite location, you can stay out in the streets. At the Fondamenta facing the Giudecca island, there are outdoor kitchens serving the traditional treats as well as local wine. From there you have an excellent view of the Basilica del Redentore and the water. 

Village Feast in Venice


This is the program of the Redentore 2019

On Friday the 19th, the day before Redentore at 8.30pm

As usual, this year the Musica Venezia Cultural Association, Roberta Reeder Artistic Director, will present an evening of sacred music at the church of the Redentore. Performed by the Ensemble Musica Venezia, 

Saturday the 20th of July

7.00 pm Opening of the votive bridge that connects the Zattere with the Chiesa del Redentore to the island of Giudecca

11.30 pm – Fireworks display in the San Marco Basin

The Zattere side will be crowded. The Canel della Giudecca will also be crowded, with boats. The best spots are still on the other side though, at Giudecca. The bridge is closed from 10.30 pm until 00.30, so you have to be on time. 

From 5.00 pm – 00.00 at  Serra dei Giardini – Live music with live bands 

Sunday the 21st of July

The Redentore regattas  – Giudecca Canal:

At 4.00 pm, regatta for the youngest rowers. Pupparini with 2 oars
4.45 pm, regatta. Pupparini with 2 oars
5.30 pm, regatta. Gondolas with 2 oars. 

7.00 pm – Holy Mass at Basilica del Redentore on the Giudecca Island.

At midnight at Serra dei Giardini between Via Garibaldi and Giardini, there’s a Silent Party with 250 headsets and 3 DJs. 

But as always when it comes to Venice, the best tradition of all is just strolling around, eating something, drinking something and meeting people.