Festa della Sensa 2020, one of the most evocative Venetian traditions, will take place on May 23 and 24, in Venice.
The Feast of the Ascension recalls important moments in the history of the Republic of Venice, through the ceremony of the Marriage of the Sea (Sposalizio del Mare) and the various regattas that takes place on this occasion in the Venetian lagoon.
Festa della Sensa 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.
After the collapse of the Venetian Republic, the tradition of the feast was abandoned until 1965, when it was revived for a short time. Only in 1989, a group of citizens and some cultural associations set up the Comitato della Sensa, the organization that will fight for the introduction of the festival in the Venetian calendar of events.
PROGRAM OF THE EVENT
On Sunday, May 24, the feast will begin with the classic water parade of boats led by the famous Bucentaur (Bucintoro), the boat of the Doges of Venice. From the Saint Mark’s Basin, the procession will reach the Church of San Nicolo, on the island of Lido, where the ceremony of the Marriage of the Sea will take place.
Like every year, the Feast of the Ascension will end with the Regata della Sensa, which include various Venetian rowing competitions.