Valentine’s Day in Italy

Everyone knows Valentine’s Day, the feast of love, with its long tradition. Some couples really celebrate it, others just buy a bouquet of flowers and still others ignore this day completely. How is Valentine’s Day in Italy celebrated and what are the origins of this feast?


The Italian bishop Valentine, who lived in the 3rd century AD, is considered the founder of Valentine’s Day, which in Italian is called “San Valentino”, the “Festa degli Innamorati” (Festival of Lovers). As a priest, Valentine married lovers according to Christian rituals and also gave them flowers from his own garden as part of the ceremony, in contradiction to the law of Emperor Claudius Gothicus. Because of this religious violation, the emperor had Valentine, who was canonized centuries later, executed. According to the legend, this is the origin of Valentine’s Day.


Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day in honour of Valentine and all lovers on February 14th.

Valentine’s Day in Italy, like almost everywhere else, has of course become a lucrative business for retailers, but romance is not neglected: in addition to a candlelight dinner and a small gift, it is still tradition to give your loved one flowers.


Another custom that is typical of Valentine’s Day in Italy, but has also spread to other countries, are the so-called love locks, a really romantic ritual. Lovers meet on a bridge on February 14th to hang a padlock on the bridge railing. The couple’s initials and the day they met are usually engraved. This ceremony is intended to express their connection and be an anchor for their love. Once the lock is secured, the key is thrown into the water with the wish of having found eternal love.

With this in mind, we wish all lovers a romantic Valentine’s Day or as they say in Italy: “Buon San Valentino”!