Venice Travel Guide

Venice Performing Arts

Festa di San Marco

  • Cultural Festivals

Published 06/20/2007

Fodor's Review

The festival honoring the evangelist who for 1,000 years protected his city is somewhat eclipsed by the fact that April 25 is also Italian Liberation Day, a national holiday. On St. Mark's Day men traditionally buy boccoli (red roses) for ladies in their lives (wives, mothers, sisters, cousins, friends)—the longer the stem the deeper the token of love. Legend tells of a soldier enamored of the doge's daughter who was mortally wounded in a far-off battle. As it spilled, his blood was transformed into red roses, which he entrusted his companion to bring to the girl. The story doesn't say if the flowers arrived on the saint's day, but by tradition Venetians celebrate the miracle on this date.

Performing Art Information

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Published 06/20/2007

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