Buon San Valentino!
For those love birds out there, don’t worry. This is not going to be an anti-consumerist rant on why Valentine’s Day is a vapid holiday that propels our already heightened commercialism. I am not going to write about the nauseating feeling I get when I see red and white Christmas decorations immediately replaced by other red and white decorations. I could devote some serious time to the matter, but I will leave that to the countless other advocates of anti-valentinism (it is a word, look it up). Instead, I would like to take a moment and reflect on Valentine’s Day in Italy.
See. Everyone thinks of romance when they think of Itlay.
From the country that inspired Romeo and Juliet and is known for conjuring up romantic images of Tuscan sunsets, vineyards, and couples embraced in gondolas gliding down the canals of Venice, you may find it surprising that Valentine’s Day in Italy is handled rather mildly. Italians treat this sweetheart’s holiday with a light-hearted playfulness and, in some cases, a goofy naughtiness. This may also come as a surprise if you stop to consider the origins of the day itself. Valentine’s Day is named after one or more early Christian saints – either Saint Valentine of Rome or Valentine of Terni. Both saints were martyred and subsequently buried in Rome. Valentines’s Day has been celebrated since 496 A.D. when it was established by Pope Gelasius I. Continue Reading…