Saint Mark is the saint patron of Venice (ever since the 9th century, when the relics of the Evangelist were brought from Alexandria to Venice). The celebrations dedicated to this saint are held on April the 25th, and they contain nothing spectacular, at least from a tourist point of view.

The Saint Mark’s Day coincides with the so-called Festa del Boccolo (the Rosebud Festival) on the occasion of which men are supposed to give a single rose to the woman they love most (wife, mistress, sister, mother or daughter) as a sign of their deep affection. The legend goes this tradition has ancient roots, originating in the love story of a poor man who, afflicted by the impossibility of getting through to his chosen one (an aristocrat beauty) given the social class differences, enrolled in the war and, before his death commissioned one of his companions to have the rose he had managed to pick from a bush delivered to the woman.

A religious celebration spiced with the romantic flavor of a tragic love story – what else could one want to expect from the ever so romantic Venice?

Saint Mark’s Day / Rosebud Festival (Festa di San Marco / Festa del Boccolo)
Venice, Italy
April the 25th
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