Valentine’s day: the sweetest day of the year when in Rome


February 14th: Valentine’s Day! How to celebrate in Rome the sweetest day of the year.

February 14th is Lovers’ Day, all over
the world! But we like to think that it is more the celebration of love in its general meaning… Obviously, we are including the love of food too! And also sharing it with those you care more. Otherwise, what’s the point?

The Roman origins of Valentine’s Day:

In Rome, Lupercalia was celebrated on February 15th. This was a pagan rite, in honor of the god Luperco, which involved wild and sometimes extreme celebrations. Usually a group of young boys, devoted to the Faun, went around naked and carried out the practice of flogging against young Roman women who accepted to participate to the absurd practice. In fact, it was considered a blessing to promote fertility. The Lupercalia were rites linked to the cycle of death and rebirth of nature. The subversion of rules and the destruction of order to allow the world and society to purify and be reborn. But what does all this debauchery have to do with romantic love?!

The Pope says NO!

In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius I could no longer tolerate such wickedness. The Lupercalia were just too much for prudish Christian morality. Therefore he decided to anticipate the date from 15th to 14th February, the day dedicated to Saint Valentine. In this way the day was no longer pagan, but automatically acquired the values of Christian morality. But who was Valentino? According to tradition, it corresponds to the Christian martyr Valentine of Terni. He was martyred about two hundred years earlier by order of the emperor Aurelian. According to legend, the cause of the saint’s martyrdom was his decision to celebrate an illegitimate marriage between the young Christian Serapia and the Roman centurion Sabinus. Consequently, this day switchef from a rite that celebrated rebirth and fertility, into a day dedicated to a saint who represented goodness of spirit. But first of all the symbol of the union between two lovers.

Love letters…

Today the most characteristic feature of Valentine’s Day is the exchange of love letters and chocolates. The typical letters were called valentine and seem to date back to the late Middle Ages. One of the oldest, of which traces remain until today, dates back to the 15th century. It was written by Charles D’Orléans to his wife Bonne d’Armagnac, at the time of his imprisonment in the Tower of London. The poem reads the following words: Je suis déjà d’amour tanné, ma trés douce Valentine… (I am already sick of love, my sweetest Valentine…).

… and chocolates… Ready, go!

And what about sweets? Let’s see together where to find the best chocolates for Valentine’s Day in Rome! Because even the most cynical person can’t say no to a chocolate! Luxurious boxes, truffles, pralines or bars… It’s the same! The main thing is the quality, and above all it needs to be made with the heart.

Moriondo and Gariglio: historic chocolate shop with laboratory near Pantheon, dating back to the 19th century. Classic and simply wonderful packaging and a wide choice of different types of chocolates. Don’t miss the chocolate covered salted almonds. (Via Piè di Marmo, 21)

Quetzalcoatl Chocolatier: Italian-French chocolate shop near Piazza di Spagna. It is inspired by ancient Aztec recipes, such as the heart of Guanaya, a 72% dark ganache with cocoa bean grains. (Via delle Carrozze, 26)

Grezzo Raw Chocolate: perfect chocolate for those following a raw food or vegan diet. Their peculiarity is the exclusive use of vegetable ingredients and raw food cooking techniques. (Via Urbana, 130)

Giuliani Marrons Glacés e Cioccolatini: historic family-run artisan chocolate shop in Prati area. Specialized in delicious marrons glacés but also in pralines, nougats and truffles. The workmanship is traditional and they use pure chocolate from Ecuador. (Via Paolo Emilio, 67a)

The 5 most romantic places in Rome to declare your love:

Rome, as we know, is the perfect setting for love!

1. Giardino degli Aranci: on the Aventine Hill, not far from Circus Maximus. Here you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Rome with the dome of St. Peter’s in the background.

2. Terrazza del Pincio: one of the most romantic terraces in Rome with a breathtaking view.

3. Ponte Sant’Angelo: one of the oldest bridges in Rome. In the evening it is enchanting and offers a beautiful view of Castel Sant’Angelo, which rises majestically.

4. Villa Borghese lake: in the third largest park in Rome, the lake is one of the most enchanting corners.

5. Gianicolo: one of the most beautiful places to observe a breathtaking sunset.

6. Ponte Milvio. Where to leave your padlock.

Whether you prefer chocolates , letters, balloons or love serenades and dramatic gestures, the important thing is to give love.

But above all, love yourself! Let’s treat ourselves to a little sweetness, always!