Best time to go to Venice

Festa della Sensa 2024

Join the Feast of the Ascension celebration featuring a symbolic marriage ceremony

Dates: May 11–12, 2024

Festa della Sensa
Festa della Sensa
Festa della Sensa

The Festa della Sensa, or Festival of the Ascension, is a centuries-old celebration of the tight bond between Venice and the sea that is celebrated on the day of the Ascension of Christ and honors two key moments in Venice's past: May 9, 1000, when Doge Pietro II Orseolo saved Dalmatia from Slavic threats, marking Venice's expansion; and the 1177 Treaty of Venice, resolving conflicts between the Pontificate and Holy Roman Empire. Sensa includes the Marriage of the Sea ceremony and vibrant celebrations across the city.

The Marriage of the Sea (May 12, 2024)

At 10:00 am, the iconic Sensa procession commences, a water parade of traditional rowing boats, with the Mayor leading the procession aboard the "Serenissima" boat. Shortly after, at 10:40 am, the Marriage of the Sea Ceremony takes place in front of the historic Church of San Nicolò del Lido. In this symbolic ceremony, the city, represented by the Mayor and the patriarch, gives a golden ring to the sea to symbolize their marriage.

Following this, at 11:00 am, the Serenissima Choir enchants the audience with a captivating performance in the area adjacent to the San Nicolò church, adding musical splendor to the celebrations. Finally, at 11:15 am, a solemn Holy Mass is held within the serene walls of the San Nicolò del Lido church, concluding the morning's festivities with a spiritual touch.

Events of the Festival

On Saturday and Sunday, the festivities at Lido San Nicolò unfold with a rich array of activities. From 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, visitors can immerse themselves in the Sensa Traditional Market, showcasing creations by hobbyists, creative minds, non-profit organizations, and traders. From 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm, the Kindness Presidium, hosted by the Global Campus human rights initiative, spreads awareness about kindness through exhibitions and workshops, particularly targeting children and young people. Meanwhile, the Food Area tempts taste buds from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Additionally, visitors can explore the Cloister of San Nicolò from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, delving into its historical and photographic treasures curated by Proloco. Historical re-enactments by groups like Palmanova and the Musketeers of Candia add a touch of historical flair from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. On Sunday, May 12th, the activities continue with Nordic Walking Venezia Serenissima's "La Porta del mare" event starting at 9:20 am from Piazzale SME. The day concludes with a captivating "Concert by The Pixels," organized by Venezia Spiagge Spa at 5:30 pm.

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Last updated:
Authors: Sophia Andrus