It’s said that Valentine’s Day originated in Italy, in Rome to be precise. Plus, Italy is a very romantic place – the food, the people, the music, the wine, the scenery, gondolas, Amore, gelato, fountains, etc. So, Italy makes for great inspiration for a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration. Here are some ways to add Italian touches to your Valentine’s Day. First, play “That’s Amore” to get you in the mood. Then:
Nothing says “I love you” like meatballs (and spaghetti) or any Italian food. Or even more Valentine’s-like, there’s pasta, ravioli, pizza, and calzones in the shape of a heart. You can order heart-shaped pizzas and other items from such places as:
http://www.tastesofchicago.com/category/Valentines_Day . Papa John’s also used to offer this, but I’m not sure if they’re doing it this year. You can make your own heart-shaped pizza (there are lots of recipes, google it), or mini ones (using cookie cutters) or mini heart-shaped calzones (pictured; just follow any calzone recipe you like, altering it as needed for size, and work it into a heart shape, top with cheese and a heart-shaped – cut with kitchen scissors – pepperoni). You can find packages of heart-shaped pasta at various stores or order it online from: https://www.pastashoppe.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=149&c=47
There’s also adorable heart-shaped, striped ravioli:
What’s great about Italian food is a lot of it is red (marinara sauce), so it’s naturally Valentine’s Day ready. Plus it’s decadent, fun to share, and served best with red wine.
More Italian Valentine’s touches:
Italian red wines – Chianti, and others
Prosecco sparkling wine
Salad – red leaf lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, radish, artichoke hearts, red grapes, toasted pine nuts, fresh grated Parmesan, and red wine vinaigrette (and heart-shaped croutons)
Romantic ventures: gondola ride for two, if you live close to a place where they offer this, such as these places in California: Newport Beach, http://www.gondolas.com/ , Huntington Beach, http://www.sunsetgondola.com/ , Redondo Beach http://www.sunsetgondola.com/ , Long Beach, http://www.beachcalifornia.com/naples2.html , San Diego/Coronado, http://www.gondolacompany.com/ .
Also, it’s an Italian Valentine’s Day tradition to give Baci – chocolate hazelnut truffles from Perugia in the region of Umbria – to loved ones. Baci means kiss or kisses. You can order some from http://www.premiumchocolatesoutlet.com/
San Valentino felice! (I believe this means Happy Valentine’s Day in Italian)