La Festa Degli Innamorati Posted by on Feb 12, 2021 in Culture, Italian Language, Vocabulary


Did you know that La Festa di San Valentino or La Festa Degli Innamorati  (Valentine’s Day) is a tradition with roots in the Roman Empire? Taking place from February 13-15, Lupercalia, or dies Februatus, celebrates health and fertility and the Queen of Roman gods and goddesses – Juno, the Goddess of Women and Marriage. The name Lupercalia most likely comes from the latin word lupus (wolf), as the celebration would be held close to the Lupercal cave where the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, were nursed by the she-wolf (lupa). The celebration of health and fertility evolved to include women and marriage, and eventually, love.

Of course, like with many holidays, Christians have adopted the pagan holiday to fit their history. St. Valentin of Rome was a widely recognized 3rd century Roman patron saint of love, as supposedly he would cut hearts out of parchment paper and distribute them to persecuted Christians to remind them of God’s love.

He was executed on February 14th in AD 269, for defying the orders of Emperor Claudius and marrying Christian couples. Afterwards, The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of the Christian martyr.


Now that we have learned un po’ di storia, a little bit of history, come festeggiano gli italiani questa iconica festa? How do Italians celebrate this iconic holiday?

Only gli innamorati, lovers, celebrate this holiday with gifts of chocolate, flowers, and cards. Unlike in the US, you will not see friends sharing Valentine’s card, nor kids sending anonymous Valentine’s to their crushes.

Here is some helpful vocabulary to celebrate this holiday in Italian!

Buon San Valentino, amore mio – Happy Valentine’s Day, my love

Con te ogni giorno è San Valentino – Every day with you is St. Valentine’s Day

Tesoro mio – my darling

Baciami! – Kiss me!

Siamo fatti l’uno all’altra – We’re made for each other

San Valentino è solo un nuovo pretesto per dirti quanto sempre ti amo – Valentine’s Day is only a new excuse to tell you how much I always love you

Amo te oggi e sempre – I love you today and forever

Sei l’amore della mia vita – You are the love of my life

Buon San Valentino – Happy Valentine’s Day

Il giorno migliore per festeggiare il mio immense amore per te –  The best day to celebrate my immense love for you

Grazie amore per rendere speciali i giorni della mia vita – Thank you my love for making the days of my life special


Buon San Valentino a tutti!

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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement Associate for TL. Gaelophile. (Soon to be) Digital Nomad. Check out my personal blog, A Polyglot's Inkblot:

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