Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Buon San Valentino (in ritardo)!

Happy St. Valentine's day to everyone, albeit a little late. As you may already know, San Valentino was a saint from Italy--born in Terni (in Umbria) where he was bishop. You can still go to Terni to visit his remains (although I hear that's about all you can do in Terni--a very industrial city that has, as of recently, been the center of one of Italy's many popular strikes).

However, despite the saint relics, St. Valentine's Day is very similar here to America: commercialized beyond belief with Ferrero chocolate hearts everywhere and Perugina candies in tins with quotes on them. It is pleasant, though, walking down the main streets and seeing hearts in all of the store windows, and old men going home with bouquets of red roses in their arms, no doubt for their lovely brides.

Antonello and I had a pleasant enough Valentine's Day--a nice dinner at one of the osterias in town and enough chocolate to last a month (well, with Antonello's sweet tooth, more like a week).

I did try to bring some of my ideas of Valentine's Day here, though. In Italy, it's very much a holiday of romantic love--you would probably not see children in school giving paper Valentine cards out to all of the other children. Maybe it's just an American marketing scheme, but I like the idea of giving cards to friends, to family, as a way of celebrating love in general, not just romantic.

Anyway, Valentine's day morning, Antonello and I hurried over to the flower store and I picked up two gerber daisies (wrapped as cute as can be in true Italian fashion) and one of those primrose-type potted plants (that I've been seeing all over balconies here in Macerata lately) for Antonello's Mamma and Nonna. It was the least I could do for daily lunches at their house, and, seeing Nonna holding that big yellow boquet with a single yellow daisy in it at lunchtime was priceless. Besides, what's Valentine's Day without gerber daisies, pasta, and a teethy smile from Nonna? :)


By the way--sorry these posts have been few and far between lately. Busy week, but I will hopefully write more tomorrow! (I have a fun Indian food story to tell...)


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