|Redentore - Photo - Il Gazzettino|
In terms of history, Venice was going through some intense times. In August 1571, they lost their wealthy colony, Famagusta, on Cyprus to the Ottoman Turks, who brutally tortured and flayed alive Marcantonio Bragadin, the Venetian Captain of the Kingdom of Cyprus -- today his skin is here in Venice in the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. This sparked the famous Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571 when Pope Pius V sent the Holy League to rescue the Venetian colony from the Turks. The Christians won, preventing the Ottoman Empire from expanding further along the European side of the Mediterranean, but Venice did lose Cyprus.
|Church of the Redentore|
This year, according to Il Gazzettino, the local paper, more than 120,000 people viewed the fireworks in more than 2,000 boats, which, in addition to the typical Venetian boats, included "speed boats, yachts and super-yachts" prompting Mayor Giorgio Orsoni to declare that "false friends" of Venice would have the world believe that Venice was dying, when, in fact, the city was alive and enthusiastic.
Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog