In Italy, every April 25, the day of liberation from the Nazi-fascist army in 1945 is commemorated, for Venetians this date has a twofold and even deeper bond: it represents the date of martyrdom and death of the patron, San Marco Evangelist, whose tradition has it that he received the message Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista meus from the angel in what is now Campo San Francesco della Vigna.
The attachment to this saint is certainly linked to the arrival in the lagoon of his relics in 828, stolen from Alexandria and deposited in the basilica dedicated to him. Soon, he became the patron saint of the city.
In conjunction with this festival, the custom of the traditional bòcolo is still alive during which men in love give their loved ones a red rosebud as a pledge of their love. There are many legends that revolve around this tradition but surely the most credited one is the one that tells the love story between a beautiful and wealthy girl and a humble and courageous young man ready to do anything to convince his father to give him his hand of the daughter.
It is said that the boy, in order to be considered up to the future father-in-law, decided with stubbornness to become a brave knight. With perseverance and tenacity learn the art of combat and become one of the most famous and heroic fighters. Unfortunately, however, during an ambush, a traitor hits him to death and, in his last heartbreaking moments of life, his mind runs to his girlfriend.
With difficulty, he detaches a branch of white rose present in the nearby rose garden, brings it close to the heart and the flower begins to drink from the copious blood that came out of his chest; the young man asks his trusted friend to bring him as a gift to his beloved. The dear friend sets off on a journey to bring the battle companion's message of love to his fiancée who, after listening to the warrior's words, brings the bud first to the lips for a kiss and then to the chest moving away. This happened on April 24th. The next day, the young girl was found lifeless in her room, lying on the bed: near the heart, in her hands, the flower lay, a symbol of their eternal love, still fresh and fragrant as if just picked.