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The feast of Saint Mark
Venetians give a red rose bud to their loved wives and girlfriends

On the day of the feast of San Marco, protector of Venice, it is customary for men to offer their loved ones, wives or girlfriends, a red rose bud, in the Venetian dialect “bòcolo”.

According to legend, at the time of Doge Maurizio Galbaio, the noblewoman Maria, belonging to a powerful family, daughter of the tribune Angelo Partecipazio (later Doge from 811 to 827), had fallen strongly in love with Tancredi, a beautiful troubadour. The sentiment of the two young lovers was opposed by the father, who would not have allowed such a marriage.

In order for Tancredi to acquire at least a formal nobility and to propose himself as a bridegroom, Maria convinced Tancredi to enlist in the troops of Emperor Charlemagne and to leave for the war against the Moors of Spain.

Tancredi left and distinguished himself for the value and courage, so much so that the fame of his exploits reached Venice, reassuring Maria, who was waiting for the return of his hero in order to finally marry him.

One day some Frankish knights led by Orlando arrived in Venice. They sought Maria and heralded the death of the brave troubadour. He had been mortally wounded during the battle in Roncesvalles. Before dying, bleeding over a rose bush, Tancredi picked a bud and entrusted it to Orlando asking him to bring it to Maria along with his last words of love.

The girl took the rose still tinged with the blood of her Tancredi and remained closed in her pain. He died that same night, with the flower tight on his chest. It was April 25th.

Since that time, the rosebud, a symbol of love, has been offered to women on St. Mark’s day.

Schedule: April 25th

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