Valentine's Day, The Italian Way
🎶When the moon hits your eyes like a big pizza pie....That's Amoreeeee..🎶
Love, whether you love to love it or love to hate it, every February 14th, you won't be able to escape it... especially in some parts of Italy, after all the Holiday itself originated there, quite arguably the most romantic place on earth....
Valentine’s Day, in Italian, “Giorno di San Valentino”, derives from a Roman Empire holiday, celebrated on February 14th which was meant to celebrate Juno, the Goddess representing women and marriage. Then, as time progressed, Valentine’s was celebrated by couples in Italy in the form of taking walks in gardens surrounding the cities of Italy and spending time outdoors taking in the beginning formation of Spring approaching and a new season close enough to touch but not quite.
There is also a tale which depicts St. Valentine as a priest who married couples during times of war thus defying the Roman emperor and was then sentenced to death on February 14th but was later named a saint, Saint Valentine. Whether it was to celebrate an approaching season, a deity or a defying priest, the original purpose of "La Festa Degli Innamorati" (The festival for Lovers as the Italians refer to it) has certainly switched gears and is now romanticized into a celebration of love for all the special some ones in your life❤️
As in most holidays, each region in Italy celebrates in their own way. For example, if you are from some regions in the South of Italy, February 14th may be more simple, like most other days, with the addition of a small chocolate, a simple bouquet of flowers, a hand written note but not much more. However, in a place like Verona, celebrations include concerts in the city center, heart lanterns posted through the city and celebrations in restaurants with specialty "love potion" cocktails for those who wish to celebrate outside of their home. I mean, we would expect nothing less in the city that birthed the tale of Romeo & Juliette.
If traveling near Genoa, you won't want to miss the "Lovers in Camogli" festival with specialty markets that sell mostly items dedicated solely to lovers in love. They also have poetry competitions through the town and a place to write your name together with your sweethearts name on a heart to tie on a fishing net by the harbor, sending those love vibes and good intentions out to sea and beyond.
Valentine's Day in Italy has no doubt evolved since the days of Juno and is now officially the most noted day when couples get engaged. Who, more than the Italians, with their picturesque surroundings and already there romantic backdrops, would know more about how to romanticize a day meant for love.
Italy is the home of love & romanticism. The food, the language, the scenery….. it all inspires and exudes love with a pinch of magic. If you are seeking something just as magical to share with someone who is near and dear to you this Valentine's but not planning to travel, look no further than the 2022 Forbes "Valentine's Day Gift Guide: The Best Italian Chocolates". Mentioned in the guide is Baratti & Milano, chocolates that were so precious, they earned the royal crest and were marked the official chocolatiers of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin Italy.
May your "Giorno Di San Valentino" be as sweet and loving and delicious as an Italian specialty chocolate tastes.