Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Roses resist recession on Valentine's Day in Italy


Rome, February 14 - Flowers are proving
recession-proof in Italy on Valentine's Day as nearly 13 million
bouquets and arrangements are expected to sell by the end of
Thursday, according to Italian farmers group Cia.
Despite the flagging economy, couples on the most romantic
of holidays are still eager to buy flowers, mostly roses, with
over 10 million expected to burst out of flower shops.
Yet florists expect to sell more economically priced
bundles this year, priced between five and 10 euros.
Nevertheless, sales are expected to reach 70 million euros,
Cia said, thanks to the classic gift's austerity-busting appeal.
In addition to affordability, experts point to ubiquity,
with 65% of all purchases coming from corner florists, while
roughly 30% will get their flowers from neighborhood markets and
street vendors.
Cia said that one in three arrangements originate in
countries such as Thailand, Colombia and Kenya due to high
energy costs in Italy, which have discouraged domestic producers
from growing more flowers.
Bouquets are sure to be abundant outside St Valentine's
birthplace at Terni in Umbria, where each year lovers swear
undying passion in the cathedral that houses the saint's head.
Couples also flock each year to the small Sardinian town of
Sadali near Nuoro to ask the saint to look kindly on them and
bless engagements.
The ritual has been going on for centuries in the town's
15th-century church, only the second in Italy to be devoted to
St Valentine.
Those are just a couple of the sites destined to beckon
From the Uffizi and Pompeii to the temples of Paestum and
the Brera art gallery, state museums, monuments and historical
sites across Italy are offering two-for-one discounts on
Valentine's Day.
The traditional promotion on the romantic holiday also
includes a number of events inside museums and galleries, such
as gourmet meals and chocolate tastings at MAXXI, Italy's
contemporary art museum in Rome, aimed at bridging the gap
between the visual and the gastronomic.
Visitors need only be in pairs to get the discount,
regardless of gender, age or relation: grandchildren and
grandparents are welcome, for example.
But romantics are encouraged to visit Torrechiara castle in
Parma, where couples can hunt for images of Cupid depicted in
the numerous frescoes that adorn the walls.
Later this weekend, Parma's Teatro Verdi is offering guided
tours accompanied by the music of the 19th-century composer with
free pastries and sweets at the end of the walk.
In Rome, the Biblioteca Casanatense has opened its
18th-century Monumental Hall to free guided tours with a focus
on miniature printed manuscripts, from Catullus to Petrarch.
In Campobasso, southern Italy, the town has opened an
exhibit devoted to love letters from the 19th century.
In Turin the Museum of Antiquity is offering a tour devoted
to love in ancient Greece and Rome.
The Museo Tattile in Ancona is offering tango lessons for
couples and those who come alone.
And for an ironic take on the lovers' holiday, the Museo
Nazionale Concordiense in Portogruaro has organized an exhibit
on romances that ended in violence and crime, dating from the
Roman era up until modern times.

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