Category Archives: Festivals & events

Festivals, events, music, and more. For a list of selected events on now, see What’s On.

A Rower’s Redentore

It’s a whole different Redentore at water level, in the area designated for row boats only, just in front of the exclusive (and expensive) private party along the fondamenta at the Punta della Dogana.

The moon was full and the weather ideal — more like May than July. Music from decadent disco barges each completing to have its entertainment reign supreme wafted across the water, while we picnicked on a combination of traditional and contemporary dishes in boats decorated with frasche fresche (fresh branches) and multicolored lanterns that grew brighter as the sky darkened. About dessert time, kayakers began to appear like floating firecracking-seeking fireflies, their headlamps flashing as they bobbed about among the mass of anchored craft. Gondole threaded their way among boats of all sizes seeking the ideal spot from which to view the upcoming pyrotechnics (though it’s hard to find a bad one).

These photos are hardly tack-sharp, a difficult thing to attain from atop one floating vessel shooting more of the same — but you’ll get the idea. It was truly a spectacular display (with plenty of red, white and green this year, to commemorate Italy’s 150th anniversary) from sequences of more subtle pah-pah-pah-pah-pop cannon shots that seem to race along the canal’s edge, to a canopies of explosions that seemed to span the entire night sky, campanile to campanile, riva to riva. It went something like this…

Venice Redentore 2011 – Images by Nan McElroy

And for a truly spectacular video perspective, see


Come onde, sulle onde: Experimental waves to wash over the bacino

Onde sulle Onde, or Waves upon Waves, is a public scientific experiment to be held at 9pm on Friday, June 24, in the Piazza San Marco…

…and we’re all invided.

For the first time in since Guglielmo Marconi (1895), radio waves derived from new physical applications — and discovered by the Venetian astrophysicist Fabrizio Tamburini in collaboration with his Swedish colleague Bo Thidé — will be generated and transmitted from the top of San Giorgio bell tower the Palazzo Ducale, where they will take audio and visual form. Of what type remains to be seen — a surprise, to be sure!

These radio signals pertain to properties identified by Tamburini regarding the physical principle of the orbital angular momentum of light, which allows one single bandwidth to carry an extremely high number of frequencies thereby increasing the potential for telecommunications, as well as resolution power for microscopes and telescopes. These are applications that have already been scientifically ascertained and lab-tested and which, in the near future, could represent a small leap forward in a number various fields (telecommunications, physics, astronomy, medicine, etc.) — and for humanity as a whole.

It’s a particular point of pride that Tamburini is both Venetian and maintains residency here in the city. The sponsors of the event are hoping that Venice, with this public experiment propagated throughout the world and taking place in the presence of leading international scientists — some of whom are part of the Nobel Prize Committee — will help reestablish Venice’s role in the development of scientific and technological innovation.

So head for the San Marco Molo at the water’s edge on Friday to see just what sort of onde wave over the bacino…hard to imagine science taking a more delightful form that this. welcomes you to Veniceland.

From the folks who brought you Funerale di Venezia

Maybe the turnout wasn’t as thronging as they would have liked, but the folks at definitely made their point — as they always do. They took no prisoners on Sunday morning, November 14th, with Veniceland, their sardonic take on Venice’s seemingly inevitable evolution into a theme park — but softened the blows with an irrepressible sense of irony, and just plain fun. The festivities started at the Erbaria where mouse ears and tails were distributed to all who were willing to don them. The musical flotilla winded its way through the city to Piazzale Roma, where storybook characters and trademark pantegane (rats) disembarked and began incoming visitors at the base of the Calatrava bridge.

Take a second to scan the image below, distributed along with entrance tickets to all who arrived Sunday morning to visit Veniceland, you’ll get the idea.

For a complete view of the festivities, visit the official site,

Be sure and bookmark‘s official site & ning, too.

Wonder what sti tosi will come up with for us next year…

A little summer night music

Archivio Fano and La Municipalità di Lido present:

The 3rd edition of LidoMusicAgosto 
Four concerts of
celebrations, recurrences, and memories, historic and artistic

at the Chiostro di San Nicolò at Venice Lido
August 21, 23, 27 e 30 at 8:30 p.m.

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This is the third edition of these four marvelous concerts; if you’re in town and looking for something live, classical, and non-Vivaldese, might be just the €3 ticket. They’re organized in collaboration with the Municipalità Lido Pellestrina and hosted by the Ristorante Nicely and the Hotel Ca’ del Moro. Whether you go for the concerts or for the cloister ambience, you won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, August 21
By Chopin
Celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of grand Polish composor, soprano Patrizia Zanardi and pianist Monica Cattarossi perform music of Chopin, Gounod, Bellini and Donizetti in the course of a concert-spectacle conceived and conducted by Giorgio Appolonia, with readings by Claudio Moneta.

Monday, August 23rd
Opera and chamber music: famous, rare, and overlooked
Korean tenor Yeong Hwa Matteo Lee and pianist Mattia Ometto enliven this rich concert e presented and conducted by Valentina Lo Surdo (a conductress of Radio 3 Rai) and featuring music of Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, Francesco Paolo Tosti, Guido Alberto Fano, Ce Dong-Sun.

Friday, August 27
Music and Poetry of United Italy before the German Culture
Alessandra and Massimiliano Genôt (violino and piano) perform music of Giuseppe Martucci, Guido Alberto Fano, Leone Sinigaglia and Johannes Brahms, interwoven with poetry of Giovanni Camerana, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Arturo Graf, Guido Gozzano, Giosue Carducci.

Monday, August 30th
Ella von Schultz Adaïewsky: A Russian Musician in Venice.
Soprano Giulia Sonzin and the pianist Andrea Rucli perform music of the intriguing Saint Petersburg composer who spent long periods in Venice during the late 19th century. Presented by musicologist Umberto Berti.

Entrance is free for Lido residents; €3 for everyone else. All concerts begin at 8:30.

Take the vaporetto to Lido; San Nicolo is a 10-minute walk, or you can also take the bus.

For more info (in Italian) see



Venice Redentore 2010: a one-night, in-town getaway

The Comune estimated that there were over 110,000 visitors a Venezia for the Festa della Rendentore, most of them no doubt expecting to swelter in the oppressive heat that’s turned the city into sauna in recent weeks. A temporale, or intense storm, was predicted for about 11 p.m., just a half-hour before the half-hour long fireworks display was to begin; as disruptive as it would have been, if it in the end had provided any heat-relief I don’t think anyone would have complained.

It turned out to be nothing of the sort. As we were hanging the last of the vibrant lampioni (decorative lanterns) on our battela in Canal Grande, a not terribly ominous layer of cloud cover swirled overhead, providing a welcome shield from the afternoon sun. When it moved on — we could breathe again. Oxygen. Dryer air. Fewer gradi. Ready for the Redentore.

After a particularly taxing trip navigating the Grand Canal among boats of every shape and size, each filled to the brim with revelers, we rounded the Punta della Dogana and moored in the space reserved only for craft arriving by oar. Behind us, strewn along the fondamenta of the recently-renovated Punta della Dogana, a private dinner party with live music (American pop standards) was already in full swing. There will be many other nights like this, and I’ll be standing here with someone new…

After lots of food, traditional and otherwise, and even more chatting and general reveling, in our own boat and among the others surrounding us, it was finally time for the big show…sans temporale, fortunately.


(You can find larger versions of these photos on the Facebook page gallery.)