Unforgettable Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day was originally about a liturgical celebration of Saint Valentine, which has subsequently also developed into a celebration of a romantic holiday.

What I’m stating from now on is my personal opinion as an Italian living abroad. Therefore, many Italians may disagree with my position.

The liturgical celebration aside, modern businesses appear to be trying to convert the romantic holiday into an opportunity to make money. There is nothing wrong with commercialization as long as we don’t lose sight of the spirit and real value of this day. I’m actually happy that people will go out for dinner, or see a movie and so on.


The second point I want to make is about love: does love even need a celebration day? It seems to me that it doesn’t because every has one always loved someone else since the beginning of their lives, including their own pets 🙂

Then why don’t we celebrate love every day?

I see this as an important point: Valentine’s Day has become just another occasion to subtly ask for a proof of love. It seems to me that everyone feels the pressure to run out and buy something to give as proof of their love on Valentine’s Day, and for wealthier people that may even include an item of expensive jewelry.

I’m sorry to disappoint many of you, but it’s not going to be a proof of love. It ends up being just another scheduled "date" to make someone happy.

When we truly love someone, we do not wait for Valentine’s Day to offer a proof of love. That seems like a terrible idea to me. Honestly, I find it kind of amusing to see my neighbors coming home with tons of roses, as if competing with each other for the size of the bouquets they buy. The Olympic game of the love 🙂

How about a Valentine’s Day in a more Italian way? This is my idea:

No proof of love. No gifts. Save those ideas for any other day when you want to surprise your beloved and give them cause for huge joy at receiving the surprise.

Or, how about this? Come home with two tickets for a get-away! It is not exactly a celebration. It should be more like a moment for two people to taste what love is about. And if you really want to make it special, fly to Italy (not just because I am Italian :-).


Although I love many other towns where I could share great moments of love (like Paris, Barcelona, Prague, Venice, and many more), I’d suggest you go to Verona, Rome or Naples.


Verona, the town of Romeo and Juliet, the two teenagers that struggled for their love in the Shakespearean story. My wife loved Verona.

Or, stop for a few days in Rome, and find a table in Trastevere. You can experience the pleasure of walking and dining together within a culture that appreciates the enjoyment of life just like you do.

Photo of Galleria Umberto from Wikimedia commons contributed by kalamita
Photo of Galleria Umberto from Wikimedia commons contributed by kalamita

Personally, I would go to Naples. You will find the people there are eternally in love with life regardless of their every day struggles. Find your spot there. Watch the sea. Just pick a place. Within one to two hours by boat or train you can be in Amalfi, Positano, Monte di Procida, Capri, Ischia, Sorrento and more (I can fill several lines :). Stay overnight in one of these places. Breathe your love; do not celebrate it. Enjoy your moment; do not measure it. Talk to the people. They will welcome you as a couple in love, rather than two generic individuals spending money. Try Naples for yourself. If can breathe the essence of your love there, then you may not need to celebrate your next 100 Valentine’s Days with a gift that is purchased devoid of passion or spontaneity.

Enjoy your day with a little break of Italian Dolce vita.

Matteo Silvestri

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