Festa della Sensa
The enchantment of the city's marriage to the sea is back
The Festa della Sensa (or Ascension Day Festival) commemorates an historical event that took place in May the 9th 1000, confirming Venecian dominion on the sea with the famous annual “Nuptial”. Today the event takes place every year on Ascension Day and it is one of the most important and sumptuous celebrations interweaving the legend, myth and history of the city.
Every year since then, the Doge (now the Mayor of Venice) has repeated this solemn ritual.
To celebrate the symbolic marriage the mayor on the Bucintoro boat goes to Sant'Elena Island in Castello district, where the Bishop blesses him, and when he arrives at the Porto’s entrance, in front of San Nicolò, he throws a golden ring in the sea, symbol of the dominance of the city on the sea.
The same day there take place a regatta on 6 rows gondolas, the Sensa Regatta, a traditional event that officially opens the rowing season.
The race course starts from Bacino San Marco and ends at San Nicolò in Venice Lido.
Today the Festa della Sensa enjoys a programme involving numerous other cities with past ties to Venice. This "Gemellaggio Adriatico" or Adriatic twincity project is an initiative that binds similar cultures and a special love for the sea and everything connected with it.
The re-enactment of this ceremony is now also accompanied by numerous other attractions, including the "Sensa" market in the cloisters of the San Nicolò church on the Lido, "Voga alla Veneta" rowing races, the water parade staged by the Associazioni Remiere (Venice Rowing Clubs) and the Forte di Sant'Andrea festival.
These and many other events make this day a huge attraction that gives visitors the opportunity to find out more about the city's history and traditions and to celebrate its unique relationship with the sea.
Festa della Sensa programme
Saturday 23rd May 2009
Venice, Palazzo Ducale
Presentation of the Festa della Sensa 2009
Adriatic twincity project
"Osella d'Oro" prize 2009
Water parade in Saint Mark's square
h 2-7 p.m.
Chiostro di S. Nicolò
Sunday 24th May 2009
h 9.30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Venice Lido, Chiostro di S. Nicolò
h 9.15 a.m.
Boat meeting in Saint Mark's square
h 9.45 a.m.
Water parade to S. Nicolò di Lido
h 10.30 a.m.
Nuptial celebration at San Nicolò di Lido
h 10.30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Sensa rowing races
h 11.15 a.m.
Holy mess in the church of San Nicolò, Lido
h 12.30 a.m - 6 p.m.
Forte di Sant'Andrea festival
h 5 p.m.
Venice Lido, church of S. Nicolò
concert "Lo sposalizio del mare - ascendit Christus in altum"
Where: Saint Mark's bassin - Venice Lido (San Nicolò)
Contacts: Comune di Venezia
Assessorato al Turismo e allo Sport
Ca' Giustinian, San Marco 1364 - 30124 Venezia
Telephone: 041 5206224
Fax 041 5206152
Promoter: VENEZIA MARKETING & EVENTI S.P.A.
Dorsoduro 948 – 30123 Venezia