We don’t know much about Valentino aside the day and place of his death: 14th February on the Via Flaminia close to the Milvian bridge in Rome, probably in the III Century.
The feast of St. Valentine was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among all those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.” As Gelasius implies, nothing was yet known to him about his life!
More can be found on Wikipedia, of course.
How do we spend Valentine’s Day in Italy? It is still a nice tradition here and a way to show love to our dear ones, not necessarily our ‘fiancés’. The engaged couple uses to exchange small or big gifts: flowers (red roses in odd number are perfect for girls of every age!), chocolates (do you know ‘Baci Perugina’?), nice notes with a lot of hearts, jewels and so on..
We also like to go out for dinner in romantic places and a lot of restaurants set them up with candles and music to create the right atmosphere for good promises of eternal and mutual love..
But sometime things don’t go as they should.. and the 14th of February has been choose for a global performance called ‘One Billion Rising‘ that’s to say: ‘a global strike, an invitation to dance, a call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture end, an act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers, a refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given, a new time and a new way of being’. HERE you can find the relevant video.
Love and Peace, and Respect!