The third weekend of July, Venice.
Between 1575 and 1577, a terrible plague swept through Venice, claiming over 50,000 lives, about one-third of the population. When the epidemic abated, the Senate, thanking the Redeemer (Jesus) for answering its prayers, built Il Redentore church and started an annual festival.
The Venetians still make a pilgrimage here on the Feast of the Redemption (3rd Sunday in July) to thank the Saviour for the end of the epidemic. A bridge of boats is constructed across the Giudecca Canal, over which the procession makes its way to the Church of the Redeemer. In the evening the festival concludes with a magnificent fireworks display and a procession of illuminated boats.