Festa della Sensa 2023 will take place on the weekend of May 20 and 21, 2023, in the beautiful city of Venice.
The Feast of the Ascension is one of the most evocative Venetian traditions, which recalls important moments in the history of the Republic of Venice, through the ceremony of Marriage of the Sea (Sposalizio del Mare). On this occasion, various regattas are held in the Venetian Lagoon.
The Ascension Day Feast is, without doubt, one of the most anticipated and appreciated events in the Venetian calendar, not only by locals, but also by tourists.
Festa della Sensa was born on the day of the Ascension of Christ, to commemorate two very important moments in the history of Venice.
The first event occurred on May 9, in the year 1000, when the Doge Pietro Orseolo defeated the Slavs who threatened Dalmatia, allowing Venice to become the absolute power of the Adriatic Sea.
The second event recalls the peace treaty signed in Venice in 1177, between the Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Alessandro III, which marked the end of a centuries-old conflict between the Empire and the Papacy. On this occasion, the Doge received gifts from the Pope and, at the same time, the recognition of Venice as the supreme ruler of the Adriatic Sea.
After the collapse of the Venetian Republic, the tradition of the feast was lost until 1965, when it was revived for a short time. Only in 1989, a group of citizens and some cultural associations set up Comitato della Sensa, the organization that will fight for the introduction of the festival in the Venetian calendar of events.
Today, the events are held on the weekend after the Ascension Day. On Sunday morning, takes place the parade of the boats led by the famous Bucentaur (Bucintoro), the boat of the Doges of Venice. From the Saint Mark’s Basin, the procession reach the Church of San Nicolo, on the island of Lido, where the ceremony of the Marriage of the Sea is held.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
May 21, Sunday:
- 9.00 am, gathering of the boats in the San Marco Basin;
- 9.30 am, departure of the procession for San Nicolò di Lido;
- 10.30 am, ceremony of the Marriage of the Sea in front of the Church of San Nicolò di Lido;
- 11.30 am, Holy Mass in the Church of San Nicolò di Lido.
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