MADONNA DELLA SALUTE, November 21st
Madonna della Salute Feast: a centuries-old Venetian tradition, between the sacred and the profane.
Every year, on November 21st, the Madonna della Salute is celebrated in a joyful climate mixed with strong religious sentiments: a floating bridge is built on the Grand Canal, once made up of boats, which from Santa Maria del Giglio goes directly to the church square, helping the flow of pilgrims on their way to the altar. The Venetians thank the Madonna della Salute (Our Lady of Health) for having freed the city from the grip of the plague that hit Venice in 1630.
This feast is an essential moment of collective life and is a ritual that is consumed according to ancient habits. In addition to the cultural character, it has secular liturgies to accompany its development: the coincidence of the calendar, due to the arrival of the cold season, once implied a visit to the Basilica, soon followed by a gourmand appointment with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, to be tasted with baicoli or other Venetian biscuits.
And when it comes to hot chocolate, with or without the added sweetness of the whipped cream, the best address in the city is certainly Caffè Florian.
Florian’s hot chocolate is an experience and at this time of year it’s a small gift that everyone should give themselves: a delicious emotion on the palate and an aesthetic satisfaction thanks to the unique ambience of its indoor rooms.
If the day has been particularly tiring and there is a need for a surplus of energy, there is also the surprising Zabaione, as an alternative to the energizing chocolate, a boost of vitality… served on a silver tray!