Festa della Sensa

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Fèsta de ƚa Sènsa
DateAscension Day
2020 dateMay 21
2021 dateMay 13
2022 dateMay 26
2023 dateMay 18

The Fèsta de ƚa Sènsa was a feast of the Republic of Venice held on the occasion of the feast of the Ascension (in the Venetian language, Sensa) and still celebrated as a recreation today. It commemorated two significant dates in the Republic's history; the first being May 9, 1000, when the Doge Pietro II Orseolo rescued the denizens of Dalmatia imperiled by the Slavs. The aforementioned date marked the onset of Venetian extension in the Adriatic.

Il ritorno del Bucintoro nel Molo il giorno dell'Ascensione (The Return of the Bucentaur to the Molo on Ascension Day, 1730) by Canaletto (1697–1768). Another painting of the same subject by Canaletto, Il Bucintoro al molo nel giorno dell'Ascensione (The Bucentaur at the Molo on Ascension Day), was purchased for £11.43 million by a mystery bidder at a Christie's auction in London on 6 July 2005.[1]

The second event commemorated took place in 1177 when the Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Pope Alexander III and the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa agreed to the Treaty of Venice which ended the long-standing differences between the Pontificate and the Holy Roman Empire.

On the occasion of this festival was held the ceremony of the Marriage of the Sea (It. Sposalizio del Mare). This ceremony is recreated annually with the Mayor of Venice taking on the traditional role which was historically executed by the Doge.


  1. ^ Sam Jones (7 July 2005), "Venetian painting by Canaletto sold for record £11.5m", The Guardian, archived from the original on April 5, 2013 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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