Valentine's Day in Naples
Valentine's Day is not just for couples, but it's a celebration for everyone. It's the day to celebrate love in all its forms.
This year more than ever, the city of Naples is rich in love and payback, after a dark period such as the one we're spending because of the Covid-19. But with the first openings of museums and shops, also on the occasion of this celebration, the city awakens with new hope for the future and tourism.
The story of Valentine's Day
The origins of Valentine's Day are uncertain. Probably it took origin from a pagan festival (Lupercalia) than Christianized in the 2nd Millenium, through a specific happening during St. Valentine's life.
St. Valentine is considered as the patron saint of lovers because, according to the legend, he was the first religious man to celebrate the marriage between a pagan legionnaire and a Christian girl. It's said that one day, St. Valentine heard two young lovers walking in the proximity of his garden. They were fighting, so St. Valentine reached out to them and offered them a rose, begging them to reconcile. They could do it squeezing the rose steam together, being careful to not prick themselves and praying that the Lord would keep their love alive forever. Sometime later, the couple asked the saint to celebrate their marriage.
The legend of the couple became famous and a lot of young lovers started to visit the bishop Valentine before their marriage: it was a real pilgrimage, which occurred on the 14th of every month, the day consecrated to the blessings. Then the date was only on the 14th of February, because, on that very day, in 273, St. Valentine died.
At present, Valentine's Day, after Christmas, is the celebration which leads the highest number of people to buy presents.
A walk in love around San Gregorio Armeno
The iconic street of Naples, San Gregorio Armeno, famous for its artisan shops of Neapolitan Presepe, in the occasion of Valentine's Day is coloured with red, actually in rainbow colours. Indeed, from the 1st to the 14th of February, on this street, people celebrate San Gregorio Armeno in Love.
Every artisan will make statuettes of different sizes which represent love in every shape and form: hetero and homosexual, the parents and brothers love, between different ethnic and religious groups.
The event is an initiative of the Association of the Artisan Shops of San Gregorio Armeno to breathe new life into their work and street which, unfortunately, during last Christmas, couldn't welcome people and tourists like every year. Through this event, they want to express their hope and help foster a sense of social inclusion.
You will see exposed in the artisan shops special statuettes against the homophobia to celebrate love between people of the same sex. For example, "The kiss between two footballers" made by the master craftsman Marco D'Auria.
Indeed, during its inauguration on the 1st of February 2021, there were, together with some politicians, also local associations, such as the most important and active LGBT Groups.
Events in Naples for Valentine's Day
Naples is an amazing city full of love. And also during Valentine's day, there will be plenty for you to do!
Indeed, on the 14th of February, many local associations organize special city tours for couples.