We arrived at the Salute church just as it was getting dark outside. The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, or just Salute as it is sometimes called, was built after a major outbreak of the plague in Venice in 1630. Some European cities built shrines or small chapels as offerings to have plagues lifted from them; Venice built an entire church. After almost of third of Venice’s population was killed by the plague, construction began on Salute in 1631 and the church was finished 50 years later. My parents and I entered Salute as the staff were beginning to get the church ready for closing and were removing some of the candles and drapery. While Salute isn’t as big as the Frari Church and some other churches in Venice it’s clear from the architecture and decorations that the city funneled a lot of money into Salute. My parents and I did a slow walk around the interior of Salute and then we stepped back outside.
Since we were right by it, we next went down to the tip of the island that Salute is on to look out at the southern part of Venice. The view from there is better during the day than at night but we could still make out all of the buildings on the neighboring islands and the lights from around Piazza San Marco and San Giorgio Island were clearly visible. We didn’t linger too long since it was getting chilly and we turned around and walked all the way back to the Accademia Bridge. There we crossed to the north side and then made our way towards Piazza San Marco. Along the way I remember we passed a church inside of which a group of seven people were practicing playing on stringed instruments. At Piazza San Marco there weren’t a ton of people walking around and none of the cafes had bands playing that night. It would have been nice if my parents could have seen the dueling bands that normally perform during the warmer months but at least they got to see the square at night when it’s not flooded with tourists (or water).
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