It dates back to the 16th century when Doge Sebastiano Venier gave orders for Palladio to build the church of the Redentore on the island of the Giudecca to mark the end of the plague that had struck the city.
On the third Saturday in July, St Mark's Basin is full of gaily decorated boats with Venetians eating traditional local dishes.
They remain there until midnight which is marked by a magnificent firework display against the splendid backdrop of the lagoon.
On Sunday the Patriarch presides over a special religious ceremony and a procession of faithful cross a bridge of boats strung over the Giudecca canal for the occasion to reach the church of the Redentore.
The weekend ends with a Gondola Regata.
Hotel Saturnia ****
Historic 4-star Venetian hotel in a period palazzo near St. Mark’s Square
Venice’s first Art Deco design hotel mixing retro with modern style