Buon Redentore! (UPDATED!)

Today's actually the official holiday of the Redentore in Venice, but you wouldn't have thought so if you'd seen the festivities last night!

Saturday morning was like the Venetian equivalent of Thanksgiving... Everybody out doing last minute shopping before the stores closed that afternoon, and delicious smells foreshadowing dinner were emanating from every window!

In the evening, we had our own feast with my in-laws on the Lido, and then made it back to Venice in time for the fireworks (or "foghi," as they're known in Venetian). By that time, the party was in full swing... the waterfront was one makeshift banquet table after another, and even the restaurant tables were overflowing into the alleyways.

Many Venetians, normally pretty restrained folks, were pretty well lubricated by that time... One place in Via Garibaldi even had karaoke going! A guy in the middle of a verse staggered over to us as we were passing through and wanted my husband to sing into the mike. Problem was, it was actually a bread roll! My husband's truly a sweetly dignified soul, and politely declined. (I told him that, if it'd been me, I would have tapped it and asked, "Is this thing turned on?")

Anyway, I had been inspired that morning by an
article cited by Lifehacker to try to shoot pictures of the fireworks. Now, if there's one thing that just slightly less cruddy than my phone camera, it's my digital! So, the shots are not exactly impressive, especially because I don't have access to photoshop at the moment. Still, I'll share the more particular (but not necessarily better) photos here. (Hey, it's the next best thing to being there!)

For example, this shot below is way overexposed, but I like it because you can make out silhouettes of the boats and of the belltower and church of San Giorgio Maggiore on the left.

Since all of them see a 45 minute fireworks show every single year, by now Venetians are rather fireworks snobs. Color, pacing, sound and patterns are all reviewed at length as soon as the display is over. (The buzz I'm hearing so far seems to indicate that this past one was average...)

But my favorites are the figures!
We've got circles...

And my all-time favorite (even if the photo below is hard to see...) hearts!

And, lastly, a shot from the finale!

More? You can see a slideslow of snapshots of the whole display at Redentore 2005 - a photoset on Flickr...

Buon Redentore!!

P.S. Another interesting perspective on the Festa del Redentore is available from author/inhabitant Nan McElroy at "Living Venice... and Beyond"!


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