Settimana dell’ Amore: A Survey, a Contest and a Bit of Italian History

Welcome to Settimana dell’ Amore. In anticipation of the impending lovefest holiday this week and because I am anxious to share the love with My Bella Vita readers, this week is all about love.

To kick off the event, I’d like to congratulate the winner of the book giveaway …

NYC/ Caribbean Ragazza

I hope you enjoy the  book and that you will come back soon and tell us all about it. Well, not all about it. Nadine might not like that.

In other contest news and in honor of Settimana dell’ Amore, one lucky My Bella Vita reader commenter … make that commenter, will win a $25 gift certificate from A name will be selected from all comments made from today, February 9-Saturday, February 14.  The more you comment, the higher your chances of winning. So all of you lurkers out there … especially you, you Kountze HS grad (Yes! My sis told me all about it!) leave a comment. It is ok. We won’t bite. Hard.

I’d also like to direct you Italy-obsessed travelers and expats to the survey in the left-hand column. It’s quick. It’s short. It’ll take you two minutes. I promise.

Results from the survey, as well as the gift certificate winner will be announced on Monday, February 16.

In the meantime here is a bit of history on how Valentine’s Day was celebrated in Italy “back in the day.”

According to, Italians would hold an outdoor festival, complete with live music and poetry readings in a local garden or park. After listening to the readings, happy couples would stroll off with their young lover into the gardens. In Torino, betrothed couples announced their engagement on Valentine’s Day and shops would decorate their door fronts and sell candy the few days leading up to the event.

When I was young, my dad always brought chocolates or flowers home on Valentine’s Day. It was a tradition we looked forward to each year. Do you remember any family traditions your parents shared with you? Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions with your own children?

11 Responses
  1. I’m excited about the book. Yeah! Thank you.

    Re: Valentine’s Day, I like I said before, this single ragazza doesn’t really know what you’re taking about. haha
    You are welcome. I can’t wait to hear what you think about the book. As for being single on Valentine’s Day, I’ve been there, but I always loved it then, too. What can I say? I am a mush!
    nyc/carribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Stumbling and Nutella Day Wrap Up.

  2. My Mom buys us something every year for Valentines Day! Usually an nice card and some chocolate. The year’s I *didn’t* have a valentine, I could always count on her!!

    I love celebrating Valentine’s Day 🙂 I am a romantic mush, C.
    I am, too, Robin. My mom and dad always made sure we had something when we were younger, but now that I’m gone … outta site, outta mind? Mah! Since I have been here, I always send my nephew a care package from here, too. I need to get to the mail … oops!
    My Melange’s last blog post..Paris Magnifique

  3. my parents would always get us the little heart boxes of chocolates =) I used to love making our school Valentine boxes/bags (in elementary of course) and dropping in a little card for everyone. hehe
    I loved making those boxes for school, too. I loved to bring home my stash (when I was older’ish) and over-analyze what the cute boys’ cards meant! lol
    stacy’s last blog post..Discovering Italy

  4. carol

    ya know those little buttons that are tucked into greeting cards that play music when you open the card?Well, for Valentine’s Day,when our son was 5 years old, I sewed one of those little buttons into his jeans pocket.It played *you are my sunshine*. He’s now 22 and he still remembers.
    Happy Valentines Day
    That is awesome. How fun, Carol. I bet he felt special all day. I love that he still remembers it!

  5. Oddly, I loved Valentines day as a child – my parents always got me a card – but as an adult I get put off by the commercialism and the pressure to be extravagant just bec it’s feb 14. I love my quiet valentines evenings at home with my husband. 🙂
    See, I do, too. I love the understated Vday events. They seem more sincere to me.
    City Girl’s last blog post..A meme – 25 Random Things – With a Kitchen Twist

  6. j

    Well, Valentine’s Day, like Christmas, always seems a bit contrived, commercial and over the top. I remember trying to explain to my son when he was in elementary school why he had to give a Valentine even to classmates he didn’t like! But still, like Christmas, the basic sentiment is nice. Besides, it gives me an excuse to splurge and buy Heather a box of Mitchel’s chocolate truffles which are her (our) favorite.

    Happy Valentine’s Day Cherrye 😉
    Thanks, J. I think it is easy to get pulled into commercialized holidays, but I agree that the sentiment is nice. It sounds to me like you buy gifts for Heather like Pep buys gifts for me. Stuff he wants me to share!! ha ha Happy VDay to you and Heather, J!

  7. my daddy always did the heart shaped box of chocolates for my momma & i. i always ate all the fruit creams & caramels, then gave daddy the rest of the box (nice arrangement for both of us!).

    now with my own children i like to shake things up a bit, never quite the same from year to year but i always make a homemade card with my own poems that are individualized for each one of them.

    happy valentine’s day to you!!
    Happy Vday to you, too. I think I will change things up when I have kids, too but try to keep something from year to year that can be a tradition (like your cards). I am such a sucker for tradition!
    qualcosa di bello’s last blog’s hard to keep a straight face when…

  8. For me, Italy was a place I dreamed of being since a child. Then I met my handsome Italian ragazzo here stateside! Thirty some years later he is still my personal valentine! Instead of a huge bouquet, he always treats me to three red roses – io ti amo!
    That is sweet. Where is he from in Italy?
    Valentinoswife’s last blog post..Unexplained Urgency Part I

  9. Our family didn’t really have Valentine’s Day traditions, but 3 years ago, on Feb. 15th, my sister and I brought home 2 Border Collie pups, doubling our family size and quadrupling the energy running through the house.

    We celebrate our puppy anniversary on Valentine’s Day and make special treats for them (usually a cake).
    How fun!! BTW, your post below looks super interesting!
    Penelope Pince’s last blog post..Frugal, Unique and Meaningful Valentine’s Day Gift & Date Ideas, Plus Budget Tips

  10. I love the bit of Italian History! Thank you for sharing that!

    I just blogged a bit about Italian traditions surrounding Valentines Day and its predecessor Lupercalia, along with a recipe for an aphrodisiac infused Valentines Day picnic at home here, should you be interested.

    Happy V-Day!!!

    ~ Paula
    Wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Paula! I will definitely check it out.

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