In Italy, the Land of Love, Valentine’s Day traditions are less commercialised than the likes of America, and even the UK. Romantic Italian traditions are embedded in a long history, that began way before ‘Valentine’s Day’ was even a thing. Known as ‘La Festa Degli Innamorati’ and translated to ‘The Party of The Lovers’ Valentine’s day is just as loving as every other day of the year.
Who Celebrates This Day of Love?
In Italy, there are no anonymous cards sent to your most recent crush. Only couples celebrate this day, and not necessarily all of them. Many believe it’s just a commercial feast invented by brands to make you spend money. Whilst there may be an aspect of truth in this, many do join in on the fun to celebrate their love. Restaurants host Valentine’s-themed dinners and florists sell lots of flowers at this time.
The origin of Valentine’s Day comes from the Roman Empire celebrating the Queen of Roman gods and goddesses. The ancient Romans also considered this queen named Juno to be the goddess Queen of Women and Marriage. However an Italian legend refers to St. Valentine, a priest who defied the Roman emperors’ order on banning marriage between lovers during wartime. Once it was discovered that he was secretly marrying lovers, he was put to death on February 14 and later was named a saint by Pope Gelasius.
How Valentine’s Day is Celebrated Today
In Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, a four day celebration is organised called Verona in Love. Heart lanterns line the streets and markets, exhibits, theatre and music events take place. Restaurants host romantic dinners and there is even a love-letter writing contest. Valentine’s Day was traditionally celebrated as a Spring festival. The date would mark the advent of spring would be celebrated by spending time outdoors amongst beautiful scenery.
In Terni, on the Sunday before February 14th, couples that are due to be married within the year attend a Mass. Here they vow their love for one another.
More contemporary couples sometimes give each other small chocolate-covered hazelnut sweets, which are filled with a sweet cherry liquid centre. The wrapper these Perugina sweets are in display romantic poetry.
There is another tradition whereby couples padlock their love to a bridge and throw away the key to bind themselves together forever.
People from all over the world visit the country of love to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We’re proud to be loving all year long, and enjoy our romantic traditions.
For a taste of Italian romance, book a table with us!