|1 June 2014|
The Festa della Sensa was a feast of the Republic of Venice held on the occasion of the feast of the Ascension (in the Venetian dialect of Italian Sensa) and still celebrated as a recreation today. It commemorated two significant dates in the Republic’s history; 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.
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. This ceremony is recreated annually with the Mayor of Venice taking on the traditional role which was historically executed by the Doge.