Madonna della Salute day
Every year, on November 21, Venetians built a temporary bridge of boats that cross the Grand Canal, connecting San Moisé and Santa Maria del Giglio, for the health's day procession, in Madonna honour. Thousands of people cross the votive bridge and visit the main altar of the imposing Salute Church to give thanks and ask the Virgin Mary to intercede for their health.The day of the Madonna della Salute has a strong religious meaning for the city’s inhabitants.
The plague was killing the whole population.
Doge Nicolò Contarini decided to ask a divine help and made a public vow to erect a church called the Salute, asking for the Virgin Mary’s divine intercession to stop the plague.
Eleven architects took part in the competition: between them was Baldassarre Longhena, who won with a project that perfectly captured the grandiosity and magnificence asked by the Doge: a church that exalted the Holy Virgin and the Serenissima at the same time.
Since the end of the plague, in 1631, a strong symbolic tie remained between the city and the Virgin Mary.
On this festivity Venetians use to eat the castradina, a mutton-based traditional dish.