Venice – Quarantine and Santa Maria Salute

Venice – In just a few weeks, Venice celebrates the Feast of Santa Maria della Salute. This is a very important day for Venetians who visit the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute to give thanks for being delivered from the plague in the 1630s. Each year on 21st November, families and friends walk across the temporary bridge (constructed over the Grand Canal) to pray and to remember. In true Italian style, there are numerous candle sellers outside the church and you queue patiently to light your candle inside the lofty dome of the basilica – designed by Baldassare Longhena – in a sort of Palladian-Baroque wedding cake style. Construction of the church began in 1631 and was completed fifty years later. It’s become an integral part of the skyline of Venice along with the Bell Tower, Basilica of San Marco and Doge’s Palace.

Venice suffered devastating outbreaks of plague throughout its history. The city was the first to develop quarantine islands (lazzaretti) in the lagoon and devised the term ‘quarantine’ from ‘quaranta’ meaning forty in Italian – as the time infectious individuals were held before being allowed into the city. This year will be especially poignant as Europe struggles with the second wave of Covid-19 and restrictions on our movements are imposed. To read more:

Read the full story here: Venice – Quarantine and the Church of Santa Maria della Salute #Venice #art #stories #tradition #Venezia #history #quarantine

  • For a little more on fabulous art in Venetian churches, check out our blog
  • For a great day out on the Lagoon of Venice, why not visit our Educated Traveller blog