The Bocolo (Rosebud) Legend

April 25 th is an important day for Italy.

It is in fact Liberation Day, the day in which the Nation celebrates the end of the Italian Civil War, the end of Nazi occupation thanks to the Italian resistance and the Allies, and the end of Fascism.

It represents the return of democracy after dictatorship and the beginning of a radical transformation for the whole country.

For Venice though it is even a more peculiar day, for two reasons.

First, it’s Saint Mark’s Day: a festival held to celebrate Venice’s patron saint, Saint Mark.
Then it’s the Rosebud Festival (Festa del bocolo): a day in which lovers give a single rosebud to the person they love.

Rose made by people in St. Mark's

The Legend

This legend - supposedly more than 1300 years old - concerns Maria, the daughter of Doge Orso I Partecipazio , who is said to have fallen hopelessly in love with Tancredi, a handsome, brave young of an unfortunately modest social position.

The Doge, hoping to rid himself of what he saw as a bad love-match, arranged to have the poor Tancredi dispatched to a distant post to fight the Turks.

In spite of the Doge’s mischevious plan, the young man distinguished himself valiantly in war and his fame spread around the world.
Unfortunately though he was mortally wounded in battle and collapsed near a rose bush.

Picking up a single rose, tinged with his own heroic blood, he asked Orlando, a fellow soldier, to return it to his beloved in Venice as ultimate token of true and eternal love.

On April 25 th , the day after receiving the rose, Maria was found dead in her bed with the rosebud on her chest.

From then, on April 25 th , according to the tradition, Venetians express their feelings to their loved ones with a rosebud.
Venice truly is the city of love and romance, don’t you agree?

Want to find a rose?
Check here:

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