Venice and its traditions: “Festa della Sensa” and the “Bridal of the Sea”

On Sunday 5th June 2011, Venice’ traditional celebration Festa della Sensa will come back in the beautiful lagoon gathering once again thousands visitors who arrive to marvel at the city’s treasures and many events.

Festa della Sensa (or Ascension’s Day) pays homage to the thousand-years-long history of the Serenissima, its relationship with the sea and with the practice of Venetian rowing.

Such a celebration was a festivity organized by the Republic of Venice on the occasion of the Christ Ascension’s day (in Venetian dialect Sensa). It commemorates two important events for the Republic: the first is the fact append on 9th May of the year 1000, when the doge Pietro 2nd Orseolo helped the people who were threatened in Dalmatia by Slavs, and the second one is linked to the year 1177, when Pope Alexander 3rd and the emperor Federico Barbarossa stipulated in Venice the Treaty of peace, which once for all put an end to the conflict between Papacy and Empire.

On this occasion, there was also the Sposalizio del Mare (Bridal of the Sea). On that day, every year the doge on the Bucintoro reached S. Elena where the bishop waited for him on board of a boat with golden edges, ready for blessing him. The celebration climax was the moment of the perform of a rite: the doge, once he reached Bocca di Porto, used to launch in the water a golden ring.

Thanks to the Comitato Festa della Sensa, since 1965 Venice has been keeping on celebrate such an event with many initiatives and events to pay homage to the history and traditions of this city.

So, if you are planning to travel to Venice in the first week of June, remember that you will find also a doges’ parade in the famous and beautiful San Marco Square, the market of Sensa close to San Nicolò di Lido Church, the Venetian rowing competitions, the water parade of Associazioni Remiere, the party at Forte S. Andrea and many more events conceived for celebrating Venice and its relationship with the sea.

For further information about events in Venice please have a look at the online travel guide About Venice.

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