The night of San Giovanni is dedicated to celebrating the splendid nature of the Lagoon

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Of course, you'd celebrate the change of seasons with foghi (bonfires) and summer feasts. But there's also a calm and private tradition, cherised in the Venetian countryside and on the islands:

As grandmother tells me, it's a tradition particulary alive all the way in the estuary and islands of the Lagoon, along the river Sile, from Altino to San Donà and Eraclea. It means that in the evening of 23 June, people used to, and many still prepare, a bowl filled with fresh blossoms and leaves from the garden soaked in water. These blossoms and leaves include any of your favorites, mostly edible blossoms, and in our case, lavender, rose petals, hydrangea, petunias, geranium, sweet peas, but also rosemary and thyme. 

The bowl is left in the garden over night, and with the first rays of the morning sun on 24 June, people dip face and hands into the water, which has soaked up the essence of the blossoms. It's a sort of magical ritual in the Venetian countryside, that shall bring good luck, also much alive in other parts of Italy. 


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