Has anyone ever offered you an Italian Baci for Valentine’s Day?
February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, yet it is shrouded in mystery. I have been reading and discovering so many theories as to why that it is hard for me to choose which to mention. In Italy, lovers have been celebrating Valentines` day since 1900 with the offering of classic love chocolate -a sweet soul of luscious milk chocolate, topped with a whole hazelnut and covered with fine dark chocolate- called BACI Perugina!
A KISS IS THE HEART OF EVERY LOVE STORY.
On February 14, Valentine’s Day, many people exchange flowers, cards, chocolate and promises of eternal love, but why is this happening?
Even the Roman Catholic Church dedicates this day to the patron saint of lovers. Like all popular legends, the story of Valentine’s Day has been altered over the centuries by modern traditions, but it contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman traditions. As a Christian feast day, Valentine’s Day actually commemorates two Saint Valentines: Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni.
Despite its ancient origins, Valentine’s Day only became associated with romantic love during the late 14 century. A version of the story claims St. Valentine was the first Christian to celebrate the union between a pagan legionary and a young Christian. The tradition may have also been born from the saint’s habit giving a rose to couples united in marriage, or by celebrating marriages between young men to ensure the exemption from military duties.
According to a passionate legend, a prisoner named Valentine sent the first “valentine” letter himself after he fell in love with a young girl, possibly his jailor’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote to his “Innamorata” a letter signed, “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.
In a less romantic but more historically accurate version, St. Valentine’s Day is a Christianization of a pagan ritual: the “Lupercalia.”
The purpose of this pagan ritual, celebrated on February 15, was to purify people of curses, bad luck, and infertility. This ceremony ended with a race between two young men running naked through the streets of the city waving strips of goat skin to women who wanted to be blessed; some of these women, to achieve a better result, removed their vests. It’s easy to guess that the Church, in the process of evangelization, associated the martyr Valentine with that day of celebration and added its moralizing customs.
As much as we credit Valentine’s Day to religious traditions, we still don’t know much about the origin of the tradition of exchanging cards. Still, there are some clues.
During the Middle Ages, the cult of St. Valentine spread to France and England. The first documents that can testify to this custom date back to the 15th century.
The next milestone came in 1382 when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his poem “The Parlement of Foules.” It contains what is widely reported to be the first recorded instance of St Valentine’s Day being linked to romantic love:
“For this was on seynt Volantynys day Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.”
It was also a 15th-century Frenchman who committed the earliest Valentine’s greeting to paper. While imprisoned in the Tower of London following the 1415 battle of Agincourt, the Duke of Orleans wrote to his wife:
Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée
This translates roughly as, “I am already sick of love, my very gentle Valentine.”
In 1600, William Shakespeare also mentioned Valentine for Ophelia in Hamlet:
Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donned his clothes,
And dupped the chamber door.
Let in the maid that out a maid
Never departed more.
In the 17th century, the tradition began to spread in the United Kingdom among friends and lovers from different social classes; exchanging small tokens of affection or handwritten notes and manuscripts for Valentine’s Day became a common practice in the 18th century and made its way to the American colonies as well. Pre-printed cards first began to appear in Georgian Britain, and the oldest surviving example dates from 1797.
In the 19th century, finally, we find the first printed ticket, and by 1900 printed love cards began to replace written letters and travel across the Atlantic. On January 10, 1910, a teenager from Nebraska stepped off a train in Kansas City, with little more than big dreams and two shoeboxes of picture postcards. Furthermore, Hallmark brand was born. In 1913 Hallmark Cards produced their first Valentine’s card, a key development in the commercialization of Valentine’s Day A time when direct expression of feelings was discouraged, valentines became a very successful tool.
Baci Perugina has a delightful story that begins in Perugia in 1922, a medieval city in Italy when a young chocolatier created a chocolate bonbon for his lover. It was just the beginning of a romantic journey for this little chocolate bite.
In Italy, the feast of St. Valentine was, so to speak, institutionalized during the ’50s when the Baci Perugina chocolate company promoted an advertising campaign that left its mark on all the Italians in love by adding a romantic phrase in the wrap!
You don’t need to exchange cards anymore Bacio is a unique messenger of an unforgettable kiss with an Italian Taste!