Festa della Sensa 2024

Festa della Sensa
the Marriage of the Sea
Festa della Sensa

The Festa della Sensa, celebrated this year on May 12, is a quintessential Venetian event that vividly commemorates the Serenissima Republic’s profound connection with the sea and the historic practice of Venetian rowing.

Held on the day of the Ascension of Christ (Sensa in Venetian dialect), this festival honors two pivotal moments in Venetian history. Firstly, it pays tribute to Doge Peter II Orseolo’s aid to the threatened Dalmatian populations in 1000. Secondly, it marks the 1177 peace treaty signing between Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in Venice. Initially, the festival was a celebratory and religious rite aimed at appeasing the seas. The marriage of the sea ceremony, signifying Venice’s dominion over the waters, commenced with the Doge’s symbolic act of tossing a gold ring into the Adriatic, accompanied by the words “Desponsamus te mare. In signum veri perpetuique dominioi”.

The event’s reenactment involves the Doge donning ceremonial attire – a golden cloak, ermine collar, blue skirt, red stockings, horn, and golden shoes. The celebration includes a grand procession involving rowers, musicians, and accompanying boats. A historical reconstruction of the ceremony begins with a mass at the Sant’Elena monastery. The bishop of Castello then embarks on the sumptuous “Bucintoro“, sprinkling holy water, salt, and olive branches into the sea. Subsequently, the Doge tosses a ring into the waves. The bishop and the Doge disembark at the Lido, leading a religious procession towards the church of San Nicolò.

Today, the Festa della Sensa is commemorated by the Festa della Sensa Committee, organizing a water procession involving traditional rowing boats. The ceremony, organized for over 25 years by the Coordination of the Rowing Associations of Voga alla Veneta, features a procession starting from San Marco and culminating at the Lido. The highlight includes the symbolic ring toss from the “Serenissima“, where city officials join in the evocative tribute to Venice’s enduring bond with the sea.

Website: www.comune.venezia.it

Location: Venice

Schedule: May 12, 2024

Interested in our products?

Contact us for personalized advice

By clicking the submit button above, you confirm that you have carefully read and accept our privacy and cookie policy, our terms of use and the disclaimer.

About Us

We are a Venetian company that produces Murano glass items. We are specialized in glass creations for architecture and interior design. As a sign of love for our wonderful and unique city, the information and services offered on this blog are for educational purposes only and have been carefully selected for quality and reliability.


Texts and images included in the posts are only partially works by the authors of the articles and their properties. Some images and texts are taken from the web and, therefore, considered to be in the public domain. Where possible, source and author are published for illustrative purposes only, in compliance with the law on the “Protection of copyright and other rights related to its exercise”. If their publication violates specific copyrights, please notify us for timely removal. The authors of the blog are not responsible for the content of comments to posts, nor for the content of the linked sites. Please read the blog disclaimer carefully.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Buy Now >>> Online Shop!

Sign up for our Newsletter

By entering your email address, you agree to receive updates and promotions and accept our terms of use and our privacy policy, including our cookie use.