On 21 November, the city of Venice celebrates the feast of the Madonna della Salute, established by the Venetian Republic in 1630 on the occasion of the city’s deliverance from the plague.

In 1687, the Basilica della Madonna della Salute was consecrated, an ‘ex voto’ for the end of the epidemic and a symbol of Venice’s rebirth. The building, with its dome and large volutes, is one of the masterpieces of Baldassarre Longhena, a genius of Italian Baroque.

For more than three hundred years, the Basilica has characterised the scenery of St Mark’s Basin and is a pilgrimage destination for thousands of citizens who on this date go to light a candle to the Madonna, crossing the Grand Canal thanks to an evocative bridge made of boats set up for the occasion.

During the Feast of the Madonna della Salute in Venice, there is an atmosphere of sincere and heartfelt popular participation that combines the religious aspect with that of the city’s tradition.

This year the Feast of Our Lady of Health will fall on next Tuesday.

We will publish the programme of events in the coming days.