If you're planning to visit Venice in July, you may wish to time your itinerary to coincide with the Festa del Redentore, July's biggest event. As the festival is accompanied by fireworks and a rowing competition, it is an especially exciting time to visit. There are no Italian national holidays in July.
Third Sunday in July - Festa del Redentore. Venice has several festivals that commemorate episodes of the plague that overtook the city in the 16th and 17th centuries. The biggest one of these festivals is the Festa del Redentore, or Festival of the Redeemer, which marks the end of a big epidemic in 1576. The focus of this festival is the Redentore church, a Palladio-designed construction on the island of Giudecca, built to give thanks to God for ending the plague.
During the Redentore festival, the temporary footbridge from the mainland to Giudecca Island, which is created from a connected flotilla of boats, becomes one of the most famous bridges in Venice. This is a very beautiful and moving event. The festival ends with an exciting fireworks display and there is also a gondola regatta associated with the event. For more information and schedule, see Festa del Redentore on the Venezia Unica web site.
All month during odd-numbered years - La Biennale. The world-famous contemporary arts extravaganza that is the Venice Biennale begins in June every other year during odd-numbered years and runs through November so summer is a great time to attend some of the special events associated with the Biennale or see the art exhibitions. Even in years where the arts biennale is not running, you'll still find biennales devoted to film, architecture, dance, and music. Read more about the Venice Biennale.
Outdoor movies and concerts in summer - Summer is a good time to find outdoor movies and concerts in several squares around Venice, such as Campo San Polo. Look for posters on walls telling about these special outdoor events.
Summer beach escape - Venice Lido or Chioggia. If you would like a day at the beach, the closest place to go is Venice Lido, easily reached by vaporetto from Saint Mark's Square. While the beaches will be crowded, it will probably be a welcome relief from the heat. Venice tends to be pretty hot and humid in the summer. You can also take the special summer tourist ferry to the pretty town of Chioggia, where there are good sandy beaches in the Sottomarina area, as well as a walking street that runs along the beach.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated and edited by Martha Bakerjian and Elizabeth Heath.