Sensa Venice

Devotion of the Venetians

Sensa Venice takes place in Venice on the Ascension Day of Jesus Christ. In fact, Sensa comes from the Venetian dialect which means “Ascension”. In past centuries, it represented an important social and political role for the city of Venice that recalled the events of Doge Pietro Orseolo II° of 09 May 1000 who gave assistance to the inhabitants of Dalmatia threatened by the Slav menace – as well as the year 1177 in which the Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Pope Alexander III° and Emperor Federico Barbarossa signed the peace treaty between the Papacy and the Empire.

The meaning

Sensa Venice commemorated the total supremacy of the Serenissima Republic over the Adriatic sea. The Doge, on his state barge “Bucintoro”, reached the mouth of San Nicolò and threw a golden ring into the sea as propitiatory rite. It is assumed that the birth of the Sensa is connected with a past Byzantine feast and a pagan ritual of Neptune.

Parade of boats for the Sensa Venice

Today’s ceremony is the same as it was in the past with military, religious and civil authorities sailing along the Canal until the mouth of San Nicolò with characters wearing ancient clothes and with the final launch of the ring into water. To follow, the Sensa rowing race gondolas with four oars.

Sensa Venice is the feast of the Venetians, but also an opportunity which every year in May attracts many tourists from all over the world, a liaison between originality, entertainment, religion and the history of the city.