And the Feast of the Sensa came.
Good occasion, in the Veneto countryside, to do a bit of good breeze and feast your legs under a table with rustic eaters: cotechino and pork tongue for example, a tasty dish to refine the mouth of sioros.The Sensa in Venice, however, was anything else: the festival of the universe, the end of the world.
Because it combined religious and civil feast, remembering the day that Pietro Orseolo II had moved with the city’s fleet for the conquest of Dalmatia: the first step of Venetian power on the domination of the seas.
For the Sensa, therefore, seven days before and seven days later in Venice:
“…. gold and silver go for the squirrels.
What a galìe, what shambles, what jokes
I give the public director Majesty,
which pete in livery, which infinity
de barcolame de all breeds!
What a people, what a great guesthouse,
that Canal, what ferries!
Oh God, that I do!
And in the square and Piazzetta, the Fair was held. With the display in wooden shacks of an extermination of very fine merchandise, pulled out of the dark of the foundations and shops. And there were wrought irons, lacquers, copper plates, brass, pewter, statues, galea fanatic, mosaics, gold and silver filigrees, colored stones, Muran’s glasses, mirrors, conterie, lace buranei, feathers, brocades, brocades, damasks, velvets, silk drapes, lampas, books, engravings, miniatures, puppets, etc.
And then a baccanale of peddlers, merchants, buyers, people, quacks, charlatans, jugglers, jugglers, tamers, adventurers, beautiful women, tourists rained down everywhere. And hello not to end.
And the Liston, up and down the square, of women in zendà and nobles in tabarro.
And the angel’s wandering: a boy hoisted by force of pulleys and ropes up to the top of the bell tower, from which he performed in unrealistic jumps and roe deer even on the head of the golden angiolone that soars up there, and then flew down along the rope, with a bunch of flowers, on the loggia of the Doge’s Palace.
And there are still many other horrible things, such confusion, a crowd, a crowd, between Piazza San Marco and Riva degli Schiavoni, behind the columns, in the corners, of men and women of all ages and all social conditions, who took advantage of the darkness to do what they were not allowed to do in other days.
And the gnagues, and the hullabaloo, and the coffin that was going to the stars.
But the heart of the Sensa (which was known until Constantinople), was the Marriage of the Sea, the most gigantic and most cinematographic show of all time.
When the Doge, preceded by silver banners and trumpets, all wrapped in gold from head to toe, with an ermine collar, the blue undersole and red stockings, with the shields with pillow and damask umbrella, a nobleman who wore the stool, followed by the Great Gate, the Apostolic Nuncio, the Caps
The 42 oars were covered by 168 arsenalotti, chosen from the endless army of workers working on the shipyard of the Serenissima, the Arsenal, which impressed Dante Alighieri.
Then among the evviva of the people, the moorings and the royal ship, all red and gold, parade of perforated velvets and sculptures, banners and decorations, with the Doge seated on the upper deck together with the 50 commandaries, the canons of St. Mark, the master of ceremonies, the secretaries of the Senate, the 100 capimasters of the Arsenal, moved only
Followed and flanked by peatons, galìe, galeazze, fuste, bragozzi, golden gondolas of ambassadors. While all the city bells sounded festively and thundering the artillery of the ships, and from the banks the crowd moved to tears, because it was the Serenissima Republic of Lion that went to marry the sea.