Festa della Madonna della Salute
Campo della Salute 1b, Venice
Like the Festa del Redentore, the Festa della Madonna della Salute celebrates the deliverance of Venice from plague. In 1630, just 50 years after another plague had ravaged the city, Venice was once again under siege. Doge Nicolò Contarini vowed that if the city was spared complete annihilation he would erect a church in honor of the Virgin Mary. He followed through with his promise, and once the plague had ceased he built the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salute. Each year, on 21 November, the city celebrates the occasion with a beautiful candlelight procession, crossing the Grand Canal to seek pardon at the basilica.
E.B., Top Ten Events, 21.6.10