Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Women Want on St. Valentine's Day

Since  the days of Chaucer and the Elizabethans there were verses, trinkets and love tokens exchanged  on this day. 
Hand painted with birds, flowers and hearts, the products of an elegant society and education, these valentines were  made in limited numbers.

A vintage Valentine would be  lst choice for women who love antiques . 

2nd choice -For the adventurous traveling woman, a visit to Terni, (100 kms. from Rome) where St. Valentine was bishop and died a martyr in 273. Hundreds of couples visit the tomb of the patron saint of lovers at the Basilica just outside town on this day.  Stop to see the romantic Marmore waterfalls nearby, created by the Romans in the 2nd century B.C. 

On the way to Terni, stop for a romantic  weekend at the Castello di Proceno perched on a hilltop near the border between Lazio and Tuscany.   

3rd choice - If you are in Rome, make a visit to view the sensuous  sculptures of Canova and Bernini  at the Borghese Gallery
Drop in the gallery's restaurant afterwards for  tea and, to remember the day, purchase a souvenir from the well stocked bookshop.
Approach to Galleria Borghese, Rome, once home to Paolina Bonaparte-Borghese

Bernini's  sensuous Apollo and  Daphne 

Have the room to yourselves, at lunchtime in February

Roman statue from the Louvre 


 Paolina Bonaparte-Borghese as Venus, Canova's masterpiece

4th choice – have some chocolates on hand. Belgian chocolates with fresh cream are the best but  easily spoil. 

Erotic  Etruscan  chocolate can be found hidden behind a discreet red curtain in a central pastry shop in Viterbo.

5th choice-Learn  a love poem to recite  on the day like  this  sonnet by Dante.

Book of  Dante's love sonnets,  1921 

Illustrated  by Dante Gabriele Rossetti

Most  women  would be perfectly  happy  with  one of these  surprises, two or three would be preferable. Let  us know your  ideas for special places  to spend  Valentine's  Day where you live.



  1. L'Antica Lateria's chocolates would be my first choice as travelling very far in the cold and snow wouldn't be so much fun this year. Christina

  2. I don't know if I'm an adventurous woman, but I really like the idea of spending St. Valentine in Terni visiting the tomb of the patron saint of the lovers.

    Some years ago I went in St. Valentine day at the restaurant in Locanda Cipriani in Torcello and it was wonderful because in this period there are few people and the island seems to live in a different world, so soft, so lonely, so romantic...

  3. Christina, you are right about Antica Latteria's chocolates...and their gelato (!) probably the best in Viterbo. It was a daily stop when my daughter went to school in that area.

  4. Daniela, Torcello is a very romantic spot near Venezia. I visited years ago but not to Locanda Cipriani out of my price range. Lucky you to live so close to these beautiful places.

    1. Yes, I know, it's very expensive, but once in a lifetime...

  5. As a local ( ) you might be able to tell us the names of other great places to eat, romantic walks in and around Venice, Treviso...

  6. These are all great suggestions ! I have very fond memories of Rome myself, such a wonderful city! And the ice cream, oh, the ice cream;)