The port also plays a pivotal role during the village festivities, first of all the "Perdon di Barbana" festival. On this day, the fishing boats, which during the week do their utmost to fish, dress to the nines with the characteristic ornaments tied to tradition, to escort the town Madonna to the nearby Sanctuary, in a centenary thanksgiving ritual dating back to 1237.
The spiritual charm of the sanctuaries is often amplified by the splendid landscapes offered by the places that host them: this is also the case for the tiny island of Barbana, in the lagoon of Grado, where this Marian sanctuary of ancient origin is located, today home to a community of Friars Franciscan Minors.
According to tradition the origin of the sanctuary dates back to 582 AD, when a violent storm threatened the city of Grado. At the end of the storm an image of the Madonna, carried by the waters, was found on the island near the huts of two hermits. Here, the patriarch of Grado Elia had a sepulcher built as thanks to the Madonna for having saved the city. Soon the island became the permanent residence of a community of monks and destination of frequent pilgrimages.
From 1237 Barbana is also the destination of the famous Perdòn, the votive procession by sea that the community of Grado makes every first Sunday of July aboard boats to renew an ancient vow to the Madonna that would have saved the country from a terrible plague epidemic.
A regular ferry service, departing from the Schiusa canal, connects the island of Barbana to Grado. The journey takes about 20 minutes. The island can also be reached by private boats and has a small port.