Festa della Sensa Between history and legend, Venice is the wife of the sea
The Festa della Sensa returns to Venice from 1st to 2nd June; the historical event that recalls the prestige of the Most Serene Republic, evoking the memory of two famous events that gave it both lustre and splendour.
On the day of the Ascension of Christ, which in Venetian dialect is in fact the Sensa, Venice has for centuries commemorated the feats of Doge Pietro II Orseolo who, in the year 1000, armed the fleet of the Serene Republic to rescue the populations of Dalmatia from the threat of the Slavs.
Over the years, this event has been joined by the memory of the historic peace agreement, signed in 1177 by Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Pope Alexander III and Emperor Federico Barbarossa, which brought an end to the secular conflict between the Papacy and the Empire.
The celebration concluded with the rite of the Sposalizio del Mare: after the benediction by the Bishop, the Doge threw a gold ring into the water from the mouth of the port, symbolising the link between Venice and the sea.
The splendour of the tradition lives on today in this rich programme, including the Regata della Sensa, a four-oar gondola competition which sets off from the Bacino di San Marco at 10 o'clock on 13th May; the Doge's procession in Piazza San Marco; and the symbolic throwing of the gold ring into the waters of the lagoon by the Mayor, accompanied by the water parade.
Source: Redazione veneto.eu