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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The "Festa Del Boccolo" in Venice

April 25th is the is the patronal feast of Venice, celebrated in memory of Saint Mark the Evangelist. This day is celebrated with a gondola race across St Mark’s Basin, between Sant’Elena and Punta della Dogana, a procession in Basilica San Marco and some other activities. But in our city, another customary practice on April 25th is for Venetian men to give a ‘bocolo‘, a rosebud (preferably red) to their wives or lovers. This practice is believed to have originated from an 8th century legend involving Tancredi, a troubadour of humble origin, who was in love with Maria, the Doge’s daughter. Of course the Doge did not approve of the relationship due to the low social standing of Tancredi. Maria suggested to Tancredi that he could prove his valour and win her father’s approval by distinguishing himself in the war against the Arabs in Spain. Unfortunately Tancredi was mortally wounded and fell bleeding on a rosebush. But before dying he managed to pluck a rose and asked his companion Orlando to deliver the blood-stained rose to his lover. On April 25, a day after receiving the rose, Maria was found dead in her bed with the blood stained rose across her heart. Since that time, a rosebud is offered to the women of Venice on St Mark’s Day as a symbol of love.
From Venice With Love,
Giada


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