|Festa della Sensa|
Festa della Sensa -- even without the America's Cup in town -- traditionally commemorates two different, important events in Venetian history. The first took place on May 9, 1000 when Doge Pietro Orseolo II rescued the Dalmatians from the Slavs.
The second event took place in 1177. Back in those days, the players involved were:
1. The Holy Roman Empire with the German Frederick I Barbarossa (aka Red Beard aka Kaiser Rotbart) as the Emperor.
a) Anti-pope Callixtus III, backed by Red Beard
2. The Republic of Venice, with Sebastiano Ziani as the Doge.
3. Pope Alexander III, backed by the Lombard League
|Federico Zuccaro - Barbarossa Pays Homage to Alexander III|
Just WHO was God's vicar on Earth? The Pope or the Emperor? That was the question. It is not easy to get an Emperor and a Pope together in the same town, but Venice managed to do just that. Pope Alexander III came to Venice. Red Beard got as far as Chioggia, but was not allowed to land in Venice herself "until he had set aside his leonine ferocity and put on the gentleness of the lamb." Barbarossa became lamb-like, and was allowed into Piazza San Marco, where he found Pope Alexander III surrounded by the Doge, the Patriarch, a host of cardinals and other luminaries. The Emperor prostrated himself in front of the Pope, and received the kiss of peace.
So, the Treaty, or Peace, of Venice in 1177 is also celebrated during the Festa della Sensa. From Old & Sold:
The astute Venetians extorted valuable privileges both from the Pope and from the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa as their reward for the part which they had played in the historic reconciliation.
During his stay in Venice Alexander III was present at the famous ceremony which was later known as the wedding of the Adriatic, a rite which had been inaugurated by the great Doge Pietro Orseolo II, the conqueror of Dalmatia. As a token of Papal approval of the ceremony the Pope handed the Doge Sebastiano Ziani a consecrated ring with the words: "Receive this as a pledge of the sovereignty which you and your successors shall have in perpetuity over the sea."
For over 600 years this magnificent ceremony was enacted annually. The Doge, surrounded by the Patriarch of Venice, the great officers of State, and the foreign ambassadors, embarked on the large gilded barge, the Bucintoro, and sailed through the Porto di Lido to the open Adriatic. Here the Patriarch blessed the ring and gave it to the Doge, who threw it into the sea, pronouncing the time-honoured formula: "Sea, we wed thee in token of our true and perpetual dominion over thee." The ceremony only came to an end with the extinction of the Republic in 1797.
|Festa della Sensa by Canaletto|
|Festa della Sensa Today|
Meanwhile, the America's Cup is one of the best things that has happened to Venice in a long time. Thousands of people are here from all over the world. The energy is terrific. I think the best way to show you what's going on is a video from the America's Cup site. This clip is from the French ENERGY Team, lead by Loick Peyron, who won the Fleet Racing Championship at the Venice America's Cup World Series. The Match Racing was won by the Swedish ARTEMIS Racing Team, while the American ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill widened its lead over EMIRATES Team New Zealand as the overall leaders in the America's Cup World Series. The next and final match will be in Newport, Rhode Island.
Have a look; it's really exciting:
From the America's Cup site:
“Hosting the America's Cup is a source of enormous satisfaction for the city – explained the Mayor Giorgio Orsoni - Here the event will find a setting that no other locations in the world can offer. The regattas before Palazzo Ducale in the presence of the famous bell tower of San Marco, the races in front of the Lido with its art nouveau heritage, and the Arsenal, which will be the base for the teams and a venue for the village, are unique places that are at once a source of fascination and an index of enormous developmental prospects. This historic city, Mestre and the mainland together comprise a single territorial unit that makes this area the heart of one the nation's most vital parts."
|America's Cup in the Venice Lagoon|
In 1851 Commodore John Cox Stevens, a charter member of the fledgling New York Yacht Club (NYYC), formed a six-person syndicate to build a yacht with intention of taking her to England and making some money competing in yachting regattas and match races. The syndicate contracted with pilot-boat designer George Steers for a 101 ft (30.78 m) schooner, which was christened America and launched on 3 May 1851.
On 22 August 1851, America raced against 15 yachts of the Royal Yacht Squadron in the Club's annual 53-nautical-mile (98 km) regatta around the Isle of Wight. America won, finishing 8 minutes ahead of the closest rival. Apocryphally, Queen Victoria, who was watching at the finish line, asked who was second, the famous answer being: "Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second."
The America's Cup World Series is a new event, founded last year in 2011. It is a series of regattas, with each team racing the same type of boat. There are six different international venues for 2011-2012: Cascais, Portugal; Plymouth, England; San Diego, USA; Naples, Italy; Venice, Italy and Newport, USA. There is a winner for fleet racing, which is all the boats racing against each other, and a winner for match racing, which is only two boats racing against each other. From Wikipedia:
The America's Cup World Series is a series of match race regattas leading up to the 2013 America's Cup. The World Series uses AC45 catamarans, a one-design wingsail catamaran with foils designed specifically for the event by Mike Drummond and the Oracle Racing engineering team.
|The Winners Inside Arsenale|
|Tiepolo - Neptune Offering Gifts to Venice|
Ciao from Venice,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog
*NOTE: This was one of the most difficult posts I've ever written in terms of technical problems. Photos would not load. Formatting went awry. I was constantly logged out. Half the time I could not see what I was writing. I've tried to piece it together as best as I could; please forgive me if there are errors.This was supposed to have been published yesterday, Sunday, May 20, 2012.