July, among traditions, art and entertainment…

Summer, the full season, has finally arrived.
A festive, holidaying desire, is perceived in the air, just as that feeling of freedom which the open air invariably offers us. It’s time to choose a moment of detachment, by leaving everyday routine behind us and selecting a preferred location, and Venice can be that very place.
Its offer is absolutely one of the largest and most spectacular ones worldwide. Its historical and monumental value, its environment, which ranges from the lagoon to the sea (and to the dashing mountains of the Dolomites within an hour and a half by car), its human-scale dimensions and, finally, its extraordinary scenario of events, make it an ideal choice always and in any case.
But here are some hints for this month. The first one, is featured on our cover and the unmistakeable image of “fireworks” on water offered by the Fête of the Redeemer night.
It has been taking place repeatedly for over four centuries within the backdrop of the Basin of Saint Mark, between its Pier and the island of the Giudecca, where the church of the Redeemer “emerges” from. As it always happens in Venice, real history tells us the reasons for a fête which is still preserved within the Venetians’ spirit, despite the ages.
It all started from a terrible plague epidemic (it was 1577) and from a vow issued by the Senate and supported by all the people in favour of building a church. The task was conferred to one of the major architects of that time, Andrea Palladio. Ever since 1592, the year in which it was consecrated and dedicated to the Redeemer, this church became the focus of a pilgrimage which has been repeated since then, every year, over a floating boat-bridge, on the third Sunday of July. The secular feast thus flanked the religious one and even today, hundreds of boats of every type, decorated with fronds and balloon-lights, meet up to celebrate this event afloat, awaiting the highlight of the fête: its fireworks on water (expected this year for the night of Saturday 20).
Another inevitable attraction during this period are the art exhibitions, starting from the International Art Exhibition, universally known for over a century as the Art Biennale.
Developed in all its extension, which starts from its core, the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, it gradually widens into a widespread exhibition, which goes from individual national pavilions – always located at the Giardini – and from the vast venues at the Arsenal, the heart of the city, inside palaces and institutional venues, where further nations are represented and collateral exhibitions are featured.
This extraordinary event is also flanked, without interruptions, by a long series of top-level exhibitions, addressing the contemporary, but also modern art, photography and the applied arts.
Also regarding the Biennale, it is mandatory to mention another major event opening from the end of the month, precisely from 22 July. This reference is to the International Theatre Festival. Following its focus on European directors and a survey on the actor / performer relationship, this edition, the forty-seventh, the third one directed by actor and director Antonio Latella, will address the theme of dramaturgy with a programme of shows and rendez-vous with protagonists of the international scene.
From theatre to music, July will offer further relevant opportunities, starting with the ones offered by La Fenice Theatre. The features here are a concert by the Carabinieri Army Band, dedicated to the city (1 July) and two dates with the Venice Jazz Festival.
Great attention will also be focused on the Home Festival, one of the most anticipated events of the Venetian summer, at least for the younger public: it will bring big names from the international music scene a step from the lagoon, within the greenery of the San Giuliano Park (12-14 July).
We end here by recalling two dates, always during this month, with the most genuine Venetian tradition: the Murano Regatta, a true fête in the heart of this famous glassmaking island and the Fête of the Madonna of the Apparition, at Malamocco, an ancient hamlet between the sea and the lagoon, on the island of the Lido. In mentioning the latter, we can only close our itinerary ideally, by recommending a well-deserved relaxing break, enlivened by a refreshing dip in the sea, at one of the most beautiful beaches of the Adriatic, at the Lido itself.

D.R.

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