Festa della Sensa 2010

Sunday 16th May 2010

Festa della Sensa 2010Every year Venice attracts millions of visitors to events that are famous the world over. The Festa della Sensa, is one of the city's best known festivals that bring to life its thousand year history and its close ties to the sea and the art of "Voga alla Veneta" rowing.


The Sensa (Ascension Day) Festival was celebrated by the Venetian Republic on the day of Christ's Ascension. Sensa is the Venetian dialect word for ascension.
It commemorates two important events in the life of the Republic: one on 9 May in the year 1000, when Doge Pietro Orseolo II came to the rescue of the inhabitants of Dalmatia, who were under the Slav menace. The second event took place in 1177, when, in the reign of Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa signed the peace treaty in Venice that put an end to the century-long diatribe between the Papacy and the Empire. The rite of the Wedding with the Sea used to take place on the occasion of the Ascension Day Festival. Every year on that day the Doge on his state barge, the Bucintoro, sailed to Sant'Elena, at the level of San Pietro di Castello Church. The Bishop waited to bless him on a boat with gilt sides. To emphasise the Serenissima Republic's dominion over the sea, the Festival culminated with a kind of propitiatory rite: the Doge sailed to the channel between the lagoon and the sea and threw a gold ring into the water.

La Sensa today
Thanks to the Comitato Festa della Sensa, Venice began to celebrate Ascension Day again in 1965, with a programme that goes far beyond mere re-evocation: the Gemellaggio Adriatico ("Adriatic twinning") project now links the Serenissima Republic with a city or a geographic area that has had a special historical relationship with Venice, joined in a bond of culture, love of the sea and the activities connected with the sea. In the 2010 edition of the Festival, the ring that is its symbol will pass from the Province of Bergamo to the City of Larnaca (Cyprus).
In addition to this, the Festival is the occasion for the award of the "Premio Osella d'Oro della Sensa", which is given to public bodies, institutions and private citizens that have given lustre to the city by means of their activities in the spheres of culture, crafts and trade.

Part of the commemoration today will be the Doge's procession in San Marco Square, the Sensa Market at the Church of San Nicolò on Lido, Venetian style rowing races, a water parade by the local rowing clubs, the Fort of Sant'Andrea Festival and many other events that confirm that the Sensa today is a great time for meeting and fully realising the value of Venetian history and traditions: it is the festival of the city itself and its relationship with the sea.


Lido of Venice, S. Nicolò
Market of the Sensa

Venice, San Marco Square
Corteo Dogale and parade of the Cypriot delegation in traditional costumes of Medieval and Byzantine time.

Palazzo Ducale (admission on invitation)
Presentation of the Festival of the Sensa 2010: Gemellaggio Adriatico (Adriatic Twinning) with the city of Larnaca (Cyprus)
Prize "Osella d'oro of the Sensa 2010"


9.30 -19.00
Lido of Venice, S. Nicolò
Market of the Sensa

Boats gather in the Basin of San Marco

Departure of the water parade for S. Nicolò di Lido

Ceremony of the Wedding with the Sea in front of the Church of S. Nicolò di Lido

Departure of the Boat Saint Maria Nicopeja for "La rotta del sale"

Welcome concert at Lido for the authorities by Band-ITA, marching band of young percussionists directed by Stefano Del Sole

Young regatta on pupparini

Regatta of the Sensa on 4 oars gondolas - Course of the regattas: Basin of San Marco - Coast St. Nicolò, where to follow the prize-giving

Mass at the church of S. Nicolò di Lido


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