Flowers recession-proof on Valentine's Day in Italy
Lovers flock to saint's birthplace in Umbria14 February, 15:20
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.