We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

If your name is MARCO.....

...then today is your day!  April 25 is St. Mark's Day, the date of the death of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice. So yes, this is quite a day for Venetians. And, if your name is Marco, or Mark, it is also your name day.  That makes it about as big a day as your birthday.

Just when you think there is enough to celebrate today, the Italians throw in Liberation Day, commemorating the fall of Mussolini's Social Republic and the end of Nazi occupation of Italy in 1945. This makes the day an Italian national holiday, and a bank holiday. Yes, everyone has the day off.

But wait.. for Venetians, we're not done yet. April 25 is also Festa del Bocolo, or the Festival of the Red Rose. It is tradition for men to give a single long-stemmed rose blossom to the women he loves- mom, grandmother, sister, aunt, wife, girl friend, lover.  Legend has it that way back in the 8th century, a man of  low social status fell in love with a girl from the opposite side of the tracks- a noblewoman. In order to impress the girl's father in the hopes that he would allow them to marry, the young man went off to war. During battle he was wounded. As he was dying, he picked a rose bud from a bush, and asked one of his comrades to carry the bloodstained flower back home to his beloved. This is just one version of the story of this holiday, however it works for me, so that's the one I chose to share today.  And so , all over Venice on this day, men make a bee-line to a florist or street vendor selling roses.

Here's my red rose.

We opted to stay away from all the festivities going on in St. Mark's square and around Venice today. Instead, we hopped on a vaporetto with the intention of going a bit farther out in search of a nice fresh fish lunch.  Moeche, tiny soft shelled crabs of the Venetian lagoon who make their appearance in spring were the daily special, we could not pass them up. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Springtime in Venice

Seems like we've had very little spring this year. March was almost all rain. So was the beginnning of April. Late last week we saw a few days of sunshine- about time, for sure. And this week, we're back into rain. But--- that little bit of sun brought out one of my favorite things here in Venice.