The Christmas lights and baubles have been packed away and so now we cast our thoughts towards love – after all we are in one of the world’s most romantic countries – love is never very far from our thoughts. San Valentino in fact started in the time of the Roman Empire.
In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno, the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses as well as Goddess of women and marriage.
Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel, who was having a hard time getting soldiers to join his military leagues, believed that the reason was that Roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. His tender-hearted solution was to cancel all marriages and engagements in Rome.
During this time however Saint Valentine was a priest in Rome. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February.
So a day worth remembering then. We were thinking of celebrating love in a quiet, cultural way ourselves, with plenty of beautiful food and delicious wine and a quick tour of some lesser known local bits of culture.
More on that in the next blog. Meanwhile we are pulling together your suggestions for most romantic Italian spots – we need a photo to back your suggestion – the winner gets a romantic candlelight dinner for two on 14 February – give it a go!!