I'm always fascinated each time a holiday rolls around how and why we have come to celebrate it. Why do we give each other chocolates and go out to fancy dinners on February the 14th? Who the heck is St.Valentine anyways and what did he do? Well, (according to Wikipedia) Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14, celebrating love and affection between intimate companions.
The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs*, Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but its religious observance is still permitted. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines.") The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
* Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith in effectual, commended him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on Feb. 14th, about the year 270.
OK good to know, now at least I have a better idea of what this holiday is all about and who St. Valentine is. This truly is one of my favorite holidays because it includes lots of food, wine and tons of chocolate. And if there is one group of people that know about all of the above it would be the Italians. Italy has to be one of the most romantic places to be in the world for Valentine's Day and Italians really know how to love. Whether it's their love affair with food, wine, or each other, they are categorically a passionate and romantic group of people. I remember when Markette and I were at NIAF's 35th Anniversary Convention and Gala celebrating 35 years of the Italian American community interviewing all the Italiano's, from ESPN's Tony Reali to Mama DePandi. So much food and fun all in one room!
Here are some helpful and romantic Italian phrases you can use!
Mio amore-my love
Tesoro mio-my darling
Passerotto mio-my little bird
Mi manchi-I missy you
Ho bisogno-I need you
Ti adoro-I adore you
Sei la mia vita-you are my life
Mi vuoi sposare? -will you marry me?