The feast day of “Madonna della Salute” is a religious festival that takes place on November 21st every year. Together with the Redeemer festival in July, it is the most important festivity for Venetians since centuries.
Masses and rosaries are continuously celebrated throughout the day in the Basilica, with an unceasing flow of pilgrims. A temporary floating bridge is erected between Santa Maria del Giglio and Punta della Dogana to facilitate the pilgrimage.
The celebration stems from the dramatic epidemic of bubonic plague that struck northern Italy between 1630 and 1631 and that it is also described by Alessandro Manzoni in his famous “Promessi Sposi”. On October 22nd 1631 the Doge solemnly promised to erect a grandiose votive temple if the city had survived the tragedy of the tremendous plague.
The construction was entrusted to Baldassare Longhena, one of the most famous architects and sculptors of his time who also erected some of the most majestic palaces in the Serenissima such as Ca’Rezzonico and Ca’Pesaro that we can admire on the Grand Canal. The church was completed in 1687.

Chiesa della Madonna della Salute