Some Interesting May Festivals around Venice:
Festa della Sparesea (May 1) – A festival and regatta to celebrate the new season’s asparagus is held on Cavallino, in the lagoon, where this crop is grown. The local variety of asparagus is the green and slightly bitter Montine grown in Cavallino.
Festa Medioevale del vino Bianco di Soave (May 5) – If you happen to be in the 14th century fortified town of Soave in mid May you may be lucky enough to witness this celebration. This Soave festival is a medieval-style celebration of the investiture of the Castillian of Suavia. A procession with historical theme takes place and there’s music and theatrical performances in the town square, including sporting displays.
Valpollicellore (May 8) – A festival of the local wines which includes exhibitions in Cellore d’Illasi, Verona.
And then maybe to sample some wine in the cafes or wine cellars in town.
Feast and Regatta of La Sensa – (2nd Sunday in May). This ceremony of marriage between Venice and the sea was introduced by the Doge of the Serenissima back in AD 1000 and has been taking place every year since then. In the past the ceremony was celebrated with a lot of pomp and ceremony but these days it takes on a simpler format.
Usually, the Mayor of Venice together with civic dignitaries, religious and military representatives lead a colourful procession of decorated boats, which leave St. Mark’s Square and sail to the Port of S. Nicolò where he throws a gold ring and a laurel wreath (in memory of those lost at sea) into the sea – a rite known as “marriage to the sea”. A solemn religious ceremony takes place at the Church of San Nicolò del Lido.
Afterwards, visitors can enjoy the Sensa market which takes place in the church grounds and a gondola regatta closes the day’s celebrations.
Vogalonga (after La Sensa). Following La Sensa ceremony, hundreds of boats take part in the Vogalonga (the “Long Row) from Piazza San Marco to Burano and back, a distance of approximately 32 km.
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