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The end of the plague

On July 13, 1577, the plague was declared definitively over and it was decided that the city’s liberation from the terrible disease should be celebrated on the third Sunday in July.

A more populist aspect soon accompanied the religious aspect of the festivity, representing liberating times after such sadness.

In order to cross the Giudecca Canal and allow the procession to cross over into the church, a mighty bridge of boats was built in the festivity’s very first year and it is this element that still characterises the celebrations today.

Voices could be heard from the bridge or the votive church of people either walking or travelling in festively decorated boats. This conferred the festivity with a more profane aspect, in which devotion intermingled with fun and entertainment.

It was a night of wakefulness, the “famous” night, which ended with the arrival of dawn.

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