Liberation day and the Bocolo feast at Saint Mark

The 25th of April is always a very special day in Venice! Not only it's Liberation Day in Italy, a national holiday, but also Saint-Mark's day, the patron saint of Venice.

For this occasion, tradition has it that every boy should offer a red rose-bud to their sweetheart. and this feast is called Bocolo day (the Bocolo is the bud in Venetian).

What is the origin behind this romantic custom? A beautiful girl named Vulcana, daughter of a Doge, had fallen madly in love with Tancredi, a very brave and charming handsome worker. But the two young people knew that the Doge would oppose their marriage. So Vulcana convinced Tancredi to go and fight against the Moors, enlisting in the army of Charlemagne, and to cover himself with glory. In this way she was sure that the father would give the green light to their union. Tancredi left and the fame that accompanied his glorious deeds soon spread throughout the world. But one day some Frankish knights arrived in Venice, led by the famous Orlando, and having found Vulcana they communicated the tragic news of the death of the brave Tancredi. He had fallen bleeding onto a rosebush, but before dying he had picked a flower and had begged Orlando to take it to his beloved. The girl took the rose, still tinged with Tancredi's blood, and closed herself in her pain. The next day, April 25, the feast of San Marco, she was found dead with that bloodied flower resting on her heart.

The centuries made the tragic side of this legend fade, keeping the romantic and charming symbol of the red rose.

How will Saint-Mark's day be celebrated this year in Venice? Plenty of events are on schedule!

At 9am, a travelling concert reaching all of the Scuole Grandi in Venice will start and last throughout the day. A unique occasion to visit all of the beautiful Scuole Grandi (Scuola Grande di San Marco, Scuola Grande di S. Maria di Valverde - Misericordia, Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità, Scuola Grande di San Fantin, Scuola Grande di San Teodoro, Arciconfraternita di San Cristoforo e della Misericordia, Scuola Dalmata dei SS. Giorgio e Trifone, Scuola Grande di Santa Maria del Carmelo, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista). The concert is free of charge, all you need to do is to register: more info here.

At 12, you will be able to admire a human bocolo, made of about 1000 Venetians dressed in red and green, to create a huge rose in Saint-Mark's square. Alberto Toso Fei, famous writer, passionate of Venice, will read the legend of Vulcana and Tancredi in English, Italian and Venetian. To take part, you can register here.

What are you waiting for? Book your stay with us at Luxrest Venice and join this unique Venetian celebration!




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