The Festa della Sensa celebrates the union of the city of Venice with the sea and is characterised by a seabound ritual performed by the city’s Mayor. An ancient ceremony, first held as far back as 1000 AD, the ritual celebrates Venetian leader Pietro II Orseolo’s conquest of Dalmatia. These days, crowds gather on land and at sea to watch the Mayor of Venice board his ceremonial barge and drop a ring into the water to symbolise the city’s marriage to the sea. The procession of colourful boats which gather around the Mediterranean is quite a sight to behold with the sailors dressed in their traditional rowing association outfits for this centuries-old tradition.
The Festa della Sensa takes place on 10th May, 2018. St. Mark’s Square is the gathering point for the procession which starts at 9am. The boats moves towards the Lido and then along to San Nicolò where the ceremonial dropping on the ring takes place. The festivities commonly end with a Sensa Dinner which is offered by various restaurants around the city. For additional information about the programme of events taking place during the festival, please check the city’s Tourist Information website. If you’d like to attend the Festa della Sensa in Venice, the nearest airport is Venice International Airport. To get you from A to B in the city, do as the locals do and use the vaporetto canal system. One-way tickets cost around €7 and you can buy passes here.
The Festa della Sensa literally means ‘feast of the ascension’ as the festivities take place on the Christian Ascension Day, when Christ rose up to heaven. It also commemorates two significant military events in the history of Venice. The first is Doge Pietro II Orseolo’s rescue of Dalmatia and the second is the agreement of the Treaty of Venice.
Make the most of your trip to Venice for the festival by staying in the perfect rental accommodation for you. If you book with Eventful Stays, you can choose to stay in houses, boats, apartments, bed and breakfasts, studios or penthouses…all close to the festivities via public transport or on foot. Check out our accommodation in Venice.
If you’re travelling to Venice for the festival, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do in this historic city, including: Doges' Palace, Canal Grande and Basilica di San Marco.
To find out more information about the festival, please check out the Tourist Board’s official website where you’ll be able to download the complete festival programme and find out more about the history of this important occasion.
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