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Celebrating the Feast of the Sensa in Venice

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Every year, Venice dresses up to celebrate an age-old tradition rooted in the history and soul of this enchanted city. The Feast of the Sensa, a unique event, pays tribute to the special relationship between Venice and the sea, a celebration of devotion, gratitude, and commitment to the water that has shaped and protected this lagoon city over the centuries.

An Ancient Love Story between Venice and the Sea

The Feast of the Sensa has ancient roots dating back to the Middle Ages when the Doge of Venice played a central role in the ceremony. This event, which took place on the Sunday following the Ascension, held great significance for the Republic of Venice. On this solemn day, the Doge sailed into the lagoon aboard a magnificent vessel, accompanied by the most prestigious civic and religious authorities of the city, to perform a symbolic act of consecration and alliance with the sea.

The Marriage of the Sea

Today, the Feast of the Sensa remains an occasion to bring together the Venetian community and celebrate the centuries-old traditions linked to the sea. The day begins with a picturesque water procession along the Grand Canal, where traditional Venetian boats, beautifully decorated, follow the path set by gondolas rowed by people in period costume. The procession eventually reaches the church of San Nicol√≤ al Lido, where the ceremony of the Blessing of the Sea takes place, during which the bishop tosses a golden ring into the water as a sign of blessing and protection. A ritual known as the “Marriage of the Sea,” symbolizing the shared glory and destiny between the city and the waters that embrace it.

A Festival for All

The Feast of the Sensa is an engaging experience that involves not only the Venetians but also visitors from around the world. Along the banks of the Grand Canal and throughout the city streets, one can witness performances of traditional music and dance, taste local culinary delights, and immerse oneself in the festive atmosphere that pervades the entire city.