Passions & Places

Sea Festivals

La Festa del Mare

Ancona has been rocked by sea waves for millennia, and each year it celebrates its profound link with the sea, the main source of life, development and profit.

The Sea festival is a tribute to a natural element so important that it has historically showed the right way to go to all the inhabitants of this territory, becoming the pure identity of a people. 

The sea is therefore a natural strength, which may respond to men either with its generous gift of savoury fish, or with its wrath against those who still do not treat it respectfully. The inhabitants of Ancona owe everything to the sea, their fortune, their multi-faceted culture and the very beauty of their town.

The port of Ancona was established in the 4th century b. C., every year in September it becomes the protagonist of solemn celebrations (both religious and folkloristic), dedicated to the sea and to those earning a living from it, as well as all those who died in the sea.

It is not by chance that celebrations often involve people from other nations, with which Ancona has always had fruitful exchanges. It is possible to hear people speaking Croatian in the charming streets of the city centre, or observe rhythmic Slovenian dances on the sides of sunlit squares.

As the people gather in the shady San Ciriaco Cathedral to pay tribute to those who died in the sea, the oldest boats go back to the sea, showing their beauty and their longstanding history.

Music and memories are the leitmotif of this festival, and in the night fireworks reflecting on the sea light the starry sky.

In the past few years the Ancona Sea festival has been enriched by the beautiful Conero boat race, a charming meeting opportunity for all sailboats and sea enthusiasts.

In the silence interrupted only by waves or the wind blowing in the sails, it is a unique opportunity that of observing over 200 boats challenging each other close to the Mount Conero, in the wonderful Portonovo bay and along the many enchanted beaches. Finally, the boats reach the Passetto, the real heart of Ancona, in the playful and serene atmosphere of the Sea Festival. 

© 2001 Liberation Ventures Ltd.


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