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The romantic Festival of Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Italy as it is in the United States, however the tradition of Valentine’s Day is a little different in Italy.

History of Valentine’s Day in Italy


Valentine’s Day was initially celebrated as a Spring Festival in Italy. Celebration for the day was held in the open air. Young people would gather in tree arbors or ornamental gardens and enjoy listening to music and reading poetry. Later they would stroll off with their Valentine into the gardens. The custom steadily ceased over the course of years and has not been celebrated for centuries.

Early Valentine’s Day Tradition in Italy

In the Italian City of Turin, engaged or betrothed couples used to announce their engagement on the Valentine’s Day. Several days ahead of February 14, stores were decorated and loaded with a huge variety of Valentine’s Day treats. Some even sold glass or china baskets and Deruta Ceramics or trays filled with delectable Valentine’s Day candies and tied with a ribbon.

Another interesting Valentine’s Day tradition followed in Italy and Britain had single girls and women waking up before sunrise.  People strongly believed that the first man an unmarried girl would see on Valentine’s Day, would marry within a year. Girls therefore used to wake up early on Valentine’s Day and stand by their window waiting for a single man to pass by.

 

Valentine’s Day Celebration in Italy –


People of Italy see Valentine’s Day as a holiday imported from US, just like Halloween and Mother’s Day. For the love and lovers country of Italy, the major day for celebration of love is il giorno della festa degli innamorati. As lovers’ exclusively celebrate this day family members and friends do not exchange gifts.

In recent times however, couples in Italy celebrate Valentine’s Day by expressing their love to sweethearts. Couples usually go out for dinners at pizzeria or ristorante, just like in the US.

There is a strong tradition still, to exchange gifts like flowers, perfume bottles, Murano Glass hearts, chocolates, and if someone is really lucky, diamonds.

Another popular Valentine’s Day gift in Italy is Baci Perugina – a small, chocolate-covered hazelnuts containing a small slip of paper with a romantic poetic quote in four languages.

Majolica is glazed pottery often associated with certain regions of Italy, although it also is produced in other parts of the world. The name majolica was derived from Majorca, the port from which majolica originally was traded. Italian majolica and italian ceramics are world renowned because of their master craftsmanship and durability.

Italy has a long-standing tradition in the production of ceramics and pottery dating back to the 13th century. During the Renaissance, a small town in Umbria called Deruta, made use of the special clay from the Umbrian hills to establish itself as the center for the production of majolica and italian pottery. The superior majolica produced at this time, gained respect as an art form, even though many pieces were intended for everyday use. The majolica tradition continues in Deruta today, as well as in other parts of Italy.

From start to finish, all of Sberna’s italian ceramics are made by hand. Our artists extensively research forms, designs, and recipes from the Renaissance and continually are inspired by old designs to create new majolica patterns and forms. The technique used in producing Italian ceramics, however, has been passed down from generation to generation and can be summarized in four steps:

To begin, the artist cleans the clay to eliminate impurities. The clay then is shaped by skilled hands into various forms, usually on the potters’ wheel. The forms then are dried and fired for the first time. The cooled form is dipped in a mineral oxide bath, creating a white opaque background on which the designs may be precisely painted, without the risk of the glazes bleeding into one another. The mineral oxide base distinguishes majolica from other ceramics and creates the intensity of color for which Italian majolica is known. The glazes are mixed according to old recipes and the form then is hand painted, often by free hand and always meticulously, for mistakes cannot be corrected. The painted form is fired for a second time, this time for up to 24 hours. This second firing gives the piece the luster that authenticates genuine majolica.

The famous Italian ceramic Rooster Pitcher symbolizes “Good Fortune”. Italian tradition is to  give it as a housewarming or wedding gift, to protect from trespassers and dangers. The origin of the “Rooster Pitcher” dates back to the early Renaissance period in the Republic of Florence, Italy.

During this time, one of the most powerful and leading landowning families, the Medici’s, held a feast in the nearby village of Gallina. Later that night, while everyone slept, a rival family sent assassins to assassinate a leading member of the Medici family. The assassination attempt failed when the roosters in the yards in and around the village started cackling. The assassins were caught and executed. In honor of the roosters, artisans were commissioned by the Medici family to create ceramic replicas of the roosters to be used as wine pitchers.

Medici Family.

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