Venice is worldwide known as the city of lovers. That is not always true. Venice is a democratic city: it’s a city for workers, a city for artists, a city for students, for tourists and much more. It depends what are you looking for and, most of all, where you are looking at.
However, one day is different from the others, it’s a day in which religion, history and tradition mix: the 25th of April.
The 25th of April is the day of the Feast of San Marco (St. Mark).
St Mark is Venice’s patron saint, he was one of Jesus Christ’s disciples and the author of the Gospel of Mark. The relics of St Mark were moved to Venice in 828 A.C. and are located in the Basilica of San Marco.
Venetians are so fond of St. Mark that it is possible to recognize its symbol, the Lyon, all-over Venice as well as in every territory which was previously ruled by the Republic of Venice. The most important religious celebration is the solemn mass in the Basilica of San Marco.
The 25th of April is also known for another tradition: la Festa del Bocolo (Festival of the Blooming Rose).
According to the legend, in the VIII century Tancredi, a man of low social standing, fell in love with Vulcania, a noblewoman from Venice. In order to earn fame and glory to win her father’s approval, Tancredi left Venice for a distant war. Soon after, Tancredi became famous for his courage and bravery. Nonetheless, he was mortally wounded and he died in a rosebush. According to the legend, he managed to pluck a rose before dying and entrusted a companion, Orlando, to return the blood-stained rose to his lover.
Since then, Venetian males use to give a rosebud (bocolo) to their beloved on the 25th April.