Saint Valentine's fair
The period of Valentine’s day is strongly felt in Bussolengo. In fact, legend says that a rose of stone was given to Valentine by his beloved Silvia, to remind him that their love would never have withered, just like that rose.
This symbol will accompany the priest through all the most important steps in his life, until his death. Later, the rose was hidden in Bussolengo in order to protect it from the barbaric pillages, and then it was found by famous English writer William Shakespeare, who from that moment will carry the story of the saint and the Adige territory in his heart. The town of Bussolengo has celebrated Saint Valentine for more than 300 years, with an event which lasts until mid-February, including therefore the famous Valentine’s day. With evening shows, holy masses, displays of typical products, Bussolengo dresses up in red around mid-February.
In the 16th century the fair was mainly agricultural as, towards the end of winter, animals, farm tools and new plants were bought. During a horrible epidemic involving the neighbouring countries, the people of Bussolengo prayed to the saint patron, in order to receive benevolence and protection for the cattle. The different editions of the fair have been counted since that year, but it is believed that the real roots are much deeper. After World War II, the exhibition of machines has become fundamental, thanks to the advent of technology, even in the agricultural sector.
The many events which are organised, are very important to the small Veronese town with a big heart. The guided tour to the church of Saint Valentine – rich of 15th century frescoes depicting the life of the Saint – and to the church of Saint Rocco, with biographical frescoes as well, and with Mantegna’s artistic influences. The sense of community is felt through the bake sales organised to support different fundraising in the city centre streets.
There are many photographic exhibitions as well, usually representing love in all its forms and dimensions through a swirl of emotions and affection. The exhibitions of machines and farm equipment demonstrate the traditional closeness to the territory, which remains anchored to its origins.
Valentine’s market is held every year in Piazzale Vittorio Veneto, together with the funfair slides, which are already present in the first days of February. To complete the days, there are entertainment shows, dj-sets and gigs at the Palaspettacoli with free entry.
At the same time, there is the “Saint Valentine for children”: games, live music and a lot of fun with professional animators and cartoons’ mascots, in order to have a fair which can be enjoyed by children as well.