The enchantment of the city's marriage to the sea is back
Sunday 16th May 2010Every year Venice attracts millions of visitors to events that are famous the world over.
The Festa della Sensa, 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.
Sensa is the Venetian dialect word for ascension. It commemorates two important events in the life of the Republic: one on 9 May in the year 1000, when Doge Pietro Orseolo II came to the rescue of the inhabitants of Dalmatia, who were under the Slav menace.
The second event took place in 1177, when, in the reign of Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa signed the peace treaty in Venice that put an end to the century-long diatribe between the Papacy and the Empire.
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.
La Sensa todayThanks to the Comitato Festa della Sensa, Venice began to celebrate Ascension Day again in 1965, with a programme that goes far beyond mere re-evocation: the Gemellaggio Adriatico ("Adriatic twinning") project now links the Serenissima Republic with a city or a geographic area that has had a special historical relationship with Venice, joined in a bond of culture, love of the sea and the activities connected with the sea.
In the 2010 edition of the Festival, the ring that is its symbol will pass from the Province of Bergamo to the City of Larnaca (Cyprus).
In addition to this, the Festival is the occasion for the award of the "Premio Osella d'Oro della Sensa", which is given to public bodies, institutions and private citizens that have given lustre to the city by means of their activities in the spheres of culture, crafts and trade.
Part of the commemoration today will be the Doge's procession in San Marco Square, the Sensa Market at the Church of San Nicolò on Lido, Venetian style rowing races, a water parade by the local rowing clubs, the Fort of Sant'Andrea Festival and many other events that confirm that 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.
10 AND TUESDAY 11 MAY - at 15.00Venice, Casa del Cinema. Palazzo Mocenigo, St. Stae 1990 Projection of the Documentary Film "A Sea Of Emotions: the festivals of the tradition and the Historical Regatta celebrate the spirit in Venice and the world of the rowing races" of Cesare Bastelli. A production DUEA Film / TV2000 edited by Pupi Avati. Monday 10 May admission on invitation Tuesday 11 May free entry with booking - For information and bookings: tel. 041 5241320 - firstname.lastname@example.org - reservations can be done from the morning of Tuesday 11 May
THURSDAY 13 MAY - From 17.30Venice, Ateneo Veneto (Campo S. Fantin, San Marco 1897). Aula MagnaConference "Memory of Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, in 500 years from the death", by prof. Paolo Borsetto Conference "Studies and searches about the relationships Venice-Larnaca: the Castle and the Church of St. Lazzaro in Larnaca during the Venetian dominion", by Isabella Zamboni, University of Padova.FRIDAY 14 MAY - From 17.30Venice, Ateneo Veneto (Campo S. Fantin, San Marco 1897) Sala Tommaseo Conference "Interventions of the Venetian period in Cyprus", by Alexis Michailides, vice mayor of Larnaca.Conference "Larnaca today", by Lefteris Embedoklis19.30Venice, Church of San Salvador (San Marco, 4835)Concert of Larnaca City Chorus
SATURDAY 15 MAY 14.00-19.00Lido of Venice, S. Nicolò Market of the Sensa17.00Venice, San Marco Square Corteo Dogale and parade of the Cypriot delegation18:00Palazzo Ducale (admission on invitation)Presentation of the Festival of the Sensa 2010: Gemellaggio Adriatico (Adriatic Twinning) with the city of Larnaca (Cyprus) Prize "Osella d'oro of the Sensa 2010"
SUNDAY 16 MAY
9.30 -19.00 Lido of Venice, S. Nicolò Market of the Sensa9.00Boats gather in the Basin of San Marco
9.15 Departure of the water parade for S. Nicolò di Lido
10.15 Ceremony of the Wedding with the Sea in front of the Church of S. Nicolò di Lido
10.30 Departure of the Boat Saint Maria Nicopeja for "La rotta del sale"10.00 Young regatta on pupparini
10.30Regatta of the Sensa on 4 oars gondolas - Course of the regattas: Basin of San Marco - Coast St. Nicolò, where to follow the prize-giving
11.30Mass at the church of S. Nicolò di Lido
12.30 -18.30Festival at the Forte di Sant'Andrea (accessible by free shuttle from S. Nicolò and from Sant'Elena, available 12.00 - 18.30)
14 MAY Venice, Church of San Sebastiano (Dorsoduro 1686), 12.00 noonOfficial laying of a commemorative plaque in honour of Livio Podocataro, a Cypriot humanist and bishop in the Venetian Republic
FROM FRIDAY 14 TO SUNDAY 16 MAYVenice, Circolo Artistico Palazzo delle Prigioni (Castello 4209) "Living/Leaving, omaggio a Caterina Cornaro (1454-1510)", exhibition of the Cypriot painter Iosif HadjikyriakosCurator: Gloria ValleseOpening time: 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-18.00
FROM FRIDAY 14 TO SUNDAY 16 MAYArsenale of Venice,10.00 -19.00"Mare Maggio", the great Venetian demonstration devoted to the culture of the Sea: exhibitions, historical reconstructions, boats, events, books and products for the sea lovrs with possibility to visit the Arsenale.1° Exhibition of antique boats by Assonautica VeneziaSUNDAY 16 MAYVenice, Sant'Elena Island, 14.00"VelaVenezia 2010", non-competitive boat race by Assonautica Venezia
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