Traditions and Venetian curiosities
we would like to give you a few pieces of information about the Venetian traditions and curiosities, which can help you make plans for your next escape to this city.
At least once, it could be worth to stay in Venice during the popular holiday named “ festa del bocolo ” which is celebrated every year on April 25th.
A popular belief tells that in the second half of the 9th Century, Maria, the daughter of the Doge Orso Partecipazio I, fell in love with a young man of humble origin, whose name was Tancredi. Obviously this love was not accepted by Maria’s father; for this reason she advised Tancredi to go to the war and fight against the Turks, so that her father could accept him in spite of his humble origin.
The young man fought courageously, but he was wounded to death and fell upon a rose-bed.
Before his last breath, he had the strength to pick a blood-stained rose and asked his friend Orlando to bring it to Maria, as a pledge of his love.
Maria received the rose and the next day she died. She was found in her bed with the red rose in her chest. It was an April 25th…..
Because of that tale, every year on April 25th the Venetian men offer a red rosebud “ bocolo” to their sweetheart.
Another lesser-known tale, associates this tradition to a rose-bed bloomed near St Mark’s grave. St Mark is the patron of the city and his feast is also celebrated on April 25th. The rose-bed was a gift offered to a seaman, - who lived at the Giudecca Island and whose name was Basilio – for his effort to bring St Mark’s relics back to Venice.
Basilio planted the rose-bed in his garden. After his death the rose-bed became a hedge which separated his children’s properties. Because of several incomprehensions the two branches of the family were hostile for years and years, until a young man of one the two families fell in love with a girl of the opposed one. The lovers spoke to each other through the rose-bed branches, which began to bloom again after many years, owing to their feeling. The young man offered the girl a rosebud picked up from the hedge and that deed sanctioned the peace between the two families.
These short tales and many more mark the popular feasts in Venice. We will continue at our next rendez-vous.
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Many thanks and all the best
The Family Serandrei