|Would the cancellation of the official, pyrotechnical Festa del Redentore return the event to Venetians?|
Considering that the origins of the Redentore celebration lie in the 16th century, and that the feast has long been the most important one in the city calendar--really one of the defining civic events of the year--not everyone was as upset by this possibility as one might have expected. One commenter on Facebook wrote that "after so many years of commercialization, the festa will return to being just ours, with our boats, watermelon, sarde in saor, pasta e fasioli, music and the hymn to San Marco. No more yachts and tourist boats."
Could this be true? A grand firework extravaganza at midnight has come to be considered the culmination of La Festa del Redentore--it's really the event's big selling point to visitors--but if there were no fireworks this July would that mean that there would also be none of those loud obnoxious party boats cruising the lagoon blaring "YMCA"?
I have no doubt that Venetians would celebrate the feast whether there were fireworks or not: that communal dinner tables would be set up on fondamente and in campi all over town, that residents would still take to the lagoon in their own boats festooned with lights, but would all those other elements--those of mass tourism, which aim it seems to introduce a large dose of Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale, Florida into the lagoon--really disappear?
Or will the thumping boats and the out-of-town drunks still come, fireworks or not? And is the idea that Redentore might once more be returned to the Venetians themselves just a fond desperate illusion, a fantasy of a time that can never be recaptured--imagined by people who have little left to them but such memories?
|A communal dinner table in Castello during Redentore 2012|