Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bonne Saint Valentin!

Did you know that Valentine’s Day started in the Italian culture? Centuries ago, Valentine's Day was celebrated in Italy as an open air Spring Festival beneath the trees. People would gather to listen to music, read poetry and stroll through the gardens. These days, couples will celebrate by going out for dinner at pizzerias or ristorantes!In the Italian city of Turin, couples traditionally announced their engagements on Valentine's Day. In Britain and Italy, it was said that the first man an unmarried girl saw on Valentine’s Day, or a man who looked like him, would be the man she would marry within a year. Girls used to wake up before sunrise and stand at the window, waiting to see who their husband would be!It is pretty standard to expect sweets from your sweet on Valentine's day, but in Italy Valentines often exchange Baci Perugina. That sounds much more glamorous than a box of chocolates, doesn't it? Baci Perugina are chocolate covered hazelnuts that have a small slip of paper inside with a romantic quote written in four languages.