To describe Venice as being ‘married to the sea’ seems most apt given that is not just disconnected from the mainland but in fact relies on the sea for so much, including its transport network and its very physical stability.
On Ascension Day, marking the day Christ rose to heaven four days after his resurrection, locals and visitors on Venice tours gather to witness the remarkable Feast of the Sensa.
The event sees the mayor, or ‘Doge’, ride out into the water and perform a symbolic gesture of union between the city and the sea from which it emerges.
A gold ring is thrown into the sea in the mouth of San Nicolo port, before he returns to dry land to join in the celebrations with the rest of his citizens.
Nowadays, the event is more of a tourist attraction that anything else but is still held in high regard by many.
The mayoral boat is flanked by hundreds of ornately and elaborately-decorated craft of all shapes and sizes, which accompany the official on this important mission.