According to a survey released today, Italians are expected to spend an average of €85 per person on Valentine’s Day this year. Despite the economic challenges, there will be fewer gifts exchanged but more romantic dinners enjoyed.
The survey, conducted by market-research institute IPSOS for retail group Confcommercio, found that approximately six out of 10 Italians will observe Valentine’s Day. The average spend will increase by around €14 compared to last year, reaching €85 per head.
However, the higher cost of living will slightly impact dining habits, with one out of five Italians opting to prepare a romantic dinner at home instead of dining out. This is a notable increase from last year’s figures.
Younger Italians, particularly those under 34, are more likely to partake in Valentine’s Day festivities, with 66% of them planning to celebrate compared to 57% of older individuals.
The survey also revealed that 73% of respondents plan to have a romantic dinner, while 61% intend to exchange gifts as a token of their affection.
Say it with flowers
Despite economic concerns, flowers remain a popular choice for Valentine’s Day gifts in Italy, with nearly 13 million bouquets and arrangements expected to be sold by the end of the holiday. Roses are the most sought-after flower, with over 10 million expected to be purchased from flower shops across the country.
In addition to gift-giving, Italy has various romantic traditions associated with Valentine’s Day. For instance, in Terni, the birthplace of St. Valentine, couples visit the cathedral to pledge their undying love in front of the saint’s relics.
In Sadali, Sardinia, couples gather at the town’s 15th-century church to seek St. Valentine’s blessings for their relationships and engagements, a tradition that has endured for centuries.
Other romantic rituals include the garlanding of a lovers’ lane in Vico del Gargano, where couples exchange promises of love. In Vinci, where the sports centre car park is a less than salubrious setting for lovers, the centre is providing a dimly lit setting for romantic encounters, complete with litter receptacles for convenience.