14th February - Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Cards and Gifts on Sale in Livorno Valentine's Day Cards and Gifts on Sale in Livorno By no means exclusive to Italy, St Valentine’s Day on 14th February – known in Italian as the Festa degli Innamorati (‘lovers’ day’) has become as commercial as it is in most places in the western world. But although the origins of this modern ‘celebration’ are unknown, it certainly takes its name from an Italian Saint – San Valentino - , or possibly two saints of the same name who lived at different periods in history.
According to some sources, San Valentino was a Roman martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Others believe that he was a temple priest thrown into prison for defiance under the emperor Claudius. He may instead have been a martyred bishop of Interamna (modern day Terni) in the latter part of the third century, buried on the Flaminian way where there used to be a small church dedicated to San Valentino. The relics of a certain San Valentino Martire are said to be conserved in the Church of Santa Caterina right here in Livorno.
In the 21st century, it is estimated that 1 billion Valentines cards are sent worldwide, not to mention all the other paraphernalia that goes on sale around this time.  No matter what the origins of the day are, romance is definitely big business!