The Heart of the Rose nestling in the Venissa Vineyard to celebrate the feast of the rosebud… To celebrate the ancient annual tradition of April 25th, a heart-shaped bed of roses has been fashioned against the background of the Venissa Vineyard in the estate at the heart of Native Venice…. This is a press release I got this past week. As I write this, today is Arpil 25th… and the event just happened (time difference). Still, awareness of its happening is an interesting read. Mark your calendars and head for Venice next year. Perhaps I can?

Ah, Venice… a past life of mine. I’ve just always had the feeling that I’ve lived there before, but I never have in this lifetime. Once, I awakened Jose with, “Jose, I just had a dream in Italian and I understood every word! What does that mean?” He said, “You were Italian in a past lifetime, just go back to sleep.” I knew he was right, but  that dream still haunts me. (I’ve never learned the Italian language in this lifetime.) Images of having lived in Venice tug at my heart. I have a distant memory of yelling at someone across a waterway. I’ve also never been there, in this lifetime.

[Image borrowed from Italy Travel by Perillo Tours.]

Get yourself a great glass of wine for this one. The stories are classics, perhaps deserving one of the Wines From Venice:

From the press release

On April 25th, Venice celebrates both its patron saint ‘Saint Mark’ and at the same time the ancient romantic tradition that derives from ‘The Legend of the Rosebud.’ On this day it is tradition that the young lovers give their loved ones a rosebud. There are two possible origins for this tradition. One tells the story of the forbidden love between the Noblewoman Maria Partecipazio and the troubadour Tancredi. In an attempt to overcome the obstacles thrown up by the differences in class, Tancredi goes to war hoping to obtain military honours that would make him worthy of a high class wife. Unfortunately though, after having fought valiantly under the banner of Charles the Great in the war against the Moors of Spain, he falls fatally wounded on to a bed of white roses which become tainted red by his blood. The dying Tancredi picks a rose bud that he entrusts to a messenger to take home to his lover. On Saint Mark’s day, Maria Partecipazio is found dead with the rosebud on her breast; and from that day on, Venetian lovers have used that flower as an emblematic token of love.

According to another legend, the tradition of the rosebud comes from the rose garden beside the tomb of the Evangelist. The rosebud is said to have been a gift to Basilio, a sailor from the island of Giudecca, in recognition for his help in transferring the saints remains to Venice. To celebrate this ancient tradition an eye catching heart-shaped bed of roses surrounded by Dorona vines has been planted in the historical estate recovered by the Bisol family in the heart of the archipelago of Native Venice which includes Mazzorbo, Burano and Torcello.

The project was created and carried out by the writer Dania Lupi who has inserted it into his larger scale project known as the ‘Mother Rose Garden,’ which requires rose gardens to be sown, not only in the botanical sense but also as an act of culture, throughout the islands that witnessed the birth of Venice. These will then branch out into the various parts of the city where each rose garden will reflect the area in which it is planted in a cultural sense. In this case the writer wanted to underline the ancient tradition of planting a rose bush at the head of each row of vines so that forewarning would be received in case of infestation by parasites. Dania Lupi therefore asked Gianluca Bisol to invert the process by planting Venissa’s prestigious Dorona around the bed of roses in a symbolic gesture of protection. The heart-shaped rose bed will be completed with the roses and a small vine of Dorona that Dania Lupi will bring personally for benediction by the Patriarch on the 25th of April, during the celebration of Saint Mark’s day and the tradition of the rosebud.