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Sunday, 28 July 2013

I've seen lights far in the distance

As some of you might have guessed by this week's snapshots, last week end I was in Venice for what is probably the second biggest celebration in this magical town after the Carnival: the Redentore.

The festivity is actually an historical thing as it comes to remember the redemption of Venice from the plague in the Middle Ages.
In this day, many people gather in town to see the fire works that the pop up at night in the Giudecca Island, where the Church of Redentore is.
Many people bring their boats out in order to see the fire works from a closer distance and that's when the Giudecca Channel becomes so full of boats, some bigger, some smaller, that you could almost walk on them and get to the island jumping from one to another.

Between the people on the boats, the cheerful attitude is testified by food passing from boat to boat, but also drinks and laughs, as everyone was there together just because they are all celebrating the same thing.

Many young people and most students of the Universities in Venice make picnics and a very famous location for that is Sant'Elena, another Island pretty close to Piazza San Marco and reachable by passing a bridge.
In Sant'Elena the gardens on the sea offer the perfect location for a picnic but also a great view of the fireworks which despite being much smaller than the ones you'd see from a boat right beside the Giudecca, are still magical...

Also, Sant'Elena is a technical spot for the youngest generations as it's just a stop away from the Lido of Venice, where they always throw a huge beach party after the fire works, with the Vaporetto (which we could define bus-boat).

I consider myself so lucky this time as I personally think that the best way possible to enjoy the Redentore is being with someone who either is from Venice or lives in Venice.
That's why being with my friend Massimiliano, ex school mate and one of the people I love the most in the entire world, who has just finished his degree in Philosophy at Universita' Ca' Foscari was the best fun ever.
Not only because we got to know some of his friends and Venetian people, but also because we lived the life of an actual student in Venice, going around the channels to do a "bacaro tour" (Venetian version of the pub crawl...) and coming back to Rialto at 5 am with absolutely no one around.
It has been surreal and crazy at the same time.

We went there on Friday afternoon with my girls and Massi fetched us next to the station and brought us to his house in Strada Nuova.
From there we went all together with his friends to a big beach party at Lido where all the universitarian  students of Venice gathered together to celebrate the end of the courses and works shops for all of them.
The following day, after a great shower and a proper breakfast, Anna, Alice and I went all around town, taking advantage of the quiet that preceded the storm: everyone in Venice resting and getting ready for the celebrations at night.

I think I have never seen Venice that quiet.
Of course, under the sun and being able to walk around easily without bumping into people every five seconds it seemed more beautiful than ever...

Maybe going all around town it was not the greatest idea possible thinking about the night we had ahead of us... I think there are very few places in the world that tires you more than Venice.
Up to a bridge, down to another one all day long, but getting to Piazza San Marco in the evening and walking toward Sant'Elena in the sunset made us forget all the tiredness.
The light was just so perfect and absolutely beautiful, with that pink soft colour that is so typical of the skies in the North East of Italy and which was repeatedly painted by Tiepolo in the past...

But the absolute protagonists of the nights were, of course, the fire works...
As they were being popped from Giudecca us in Sant'Elena could enjoy the view of the entire panorama of Canal Grande with the lights away in the distance.

Being this my very first Redentore ever, I was pretty amazed from it and I've realized that despite what people say about how great it is, it's something you won't really understand until you see it.
It's the kind of experience that makes you feel like living in another dimension.
Another world where taxis are not on wheels but on the water, 
a world where you can walk into an island just by crossing a bridge,
a world where everyone seems to know each other and where a colored lights are brightening the sky in the middle of the night.

But maybe it's not actually another dimension, neither a different world.
Maybe it's just Venice...


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