Get the party started! The best of Venice’s summer festivals

July 16, 2015
Simona Manarin

Here in Venice, we like to keep traditions alive — and what better way to do so than by celebrating and partying with friends and family! If you want to celebrate like the locals do, be sure to mark these festivals in your calendar for a summer visit to Venice.

Redentore Celebrations

This is the king of all festivals and parties in Venice! It dates back to the 16th century as a celebration to thank God for the end of the plague, but today it’s a time to celebrate the city with family and friends. Every year on the third Saturday of July, Venetians decorate their boats, houses, and terraces, and cook food (and pour wine!) to celebrate.

You certainly don’t want to miss the hour of fireworks that happens at midnight just in front of St. Mark’s Square. The best spot to see the fireworks (and to be in the centre of the celebrations) is on the island of Giudecca, near Redentore Church. So what are you waiting for? Grab your cup and join the party!

San Giacomo Dell’Orio Festival

If you are still up for some good eating and cheering on the day after the Redentore festival, just head to San Giacomo dell’Orio. For one week every July, in one of the most beautiful and peaceful campos of Venice, the parish organises music concerts as well as a big stall of food and drinks. Pork ribs, French fries, and polenta are the favourite dishes of every Venetian. It’s cheap and a good way to mingle with the locals!

Venice summer festivals

Madonna dell’Apparizione Festival — Pellestrina

Do you love wild and practically unexplored beaches? Do you love seafood? Well, then, Pellestrina is for you! This island is an oasis of peace and quietness. Spend the afternoon lying on the beach in the sun, and the evening digging into dishes at the island’s local seafood festival (beginning of August).

Pellestrina is known among locals for its seafood and stunning sunsets. So pick up your plate of peoci, grab a seat on a bench by the lagoon, and just sit back and enjoy life.

Wort Festival — Sant’Erasmo

Sant’Erasmo is a patchwork of green and blue, gardens and vineyards, and is where most of Venice’s organic produce comes from. It is easily reached by boat, and once there you can rent a bike to explore. A slice of countryside right in the lagoon — how cool is that?!

Timed a bit after the peak summer season, the festival is held the first and second Sunday of October, in front of the church. You can’t miss it — just look for the food stalls and a lot of people in line for the famous white and red wort liqueur! You can also cheer on your favourite boat during the afternoon boating race.

There are usually locals farmers there selling produce, jams, and homemade honey, just in case you want to take a delicious piece of this island home with you.

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