Festa della Sensa | Hotel Sant'Elena
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Festa della Sensa

Festa della Sensa

The enchantment of the city’s marriage to the sea is back on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May.

The Event, 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. It commemorates the important event in the life of the Republic: the peace treaty in Venice that put an end to the century-long diatribe between the Papacy and the Empire in 1177. 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.

Venice began to celebrate Ascension Day again in 1965, with a water parade of traditional rowing boats from San Marco to Lido. The parade is leaded by the "Serenissima" boat, where the mayor and the other authorities take place and where the Wedding with the Sea is celebrated again: the evocative ceremony includes the throwing of a symbolic ring in the water and a High Mass in the church of San Nicolò.
The programme is completed by the Sensa Market at the Church of San Nicolò on Lido, by the Venetian style rowing races and by many other events.

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.


19.00 - Lido di Venezia, zona area militare Riviera San Nicolò
Rock live music with “ONLY FOR MONEY”

Markets, shows and entertainment at Lido di Venezia, zona area militare Riviera San Nicolò
14.00-20.00 Market of the Sensa
11.00 and 16.00 Muppet show by Giuliano Morasco
15.00 archery show by "Arcieri del Leon"
19.00 '80s Live music
Venezia, Ca' Farsetti (seat of the Municipality of Venice, San Marco 4136 - admission at invitation)
Gemellaggio Adriatico (Adriatic Twinning)
Prize "Osella d'oro della Sensa 2013"

9.00 Boats gather in the Basin of San Marco
9.15 Departure of the water parade towards S. Nicolò di Lido
10.15 Ceremony of the "Wedding with the Sea" in front of the Church of S. Nicolò di Lido
11.00 Concert by Coro Serenissima in front of the church of S. Nicolò di Lido
11.30 Holy Mass at the church of S. Nicolò di Lido

17.00 Women's twin-oared "mascarete" Regatta 
17.45 Regatta of the Sensa on 4 oars gondolas
Course of the regattas: Basin of San Marco - Riviera St. Nicolò, where to follow the prize-giving will take place

Markets, shows and entertainment at Lido di Venezia, zona area militare Riviera San Nicolò
10.00 -18.30 Market of the Sensa
10.00 dog lovers' show by A.S.D. Dogsy
19.00 concert by Orchestra Nuove Origini
20.30 lottery