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Umbria is a region with beautiful rolling hills with vineyards, olive groves and fields of sunflowers. The region is located in Central Italy. Umbria is called the green heart of Italy because of its mild Mediterranean climate with dry and sunny summers and cold and wet winters. Umbria is bordered in the west to Tuscany, to Lake Trasimeno, the region has only two provinces, Perugia and Terni.
the Saint Valentine’s cathedral of Terni
Saint Valentine is the patron saint of the provincial capital of Terni, the patron saint of lovers, one of the most well-known and celebrated Saints in the world. It is therefore not surprising that every year in February many events are organised in Terni for the local patron saint.
These events have a growing interest abroad.
But who was actually the Holy Valentine? According to the legend he was the first bishop of Terni in the third century. Because of his faith, he was captured by Emperor Claudius II. From there the story has a few different versions.
In the first version, after being captured, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of the jailer. The girl was blind but when Valentine kissed her she could see again. This happened on the day he was beheaded, on February 14th in 273, even though the exact year is somewhat uncertain.
According to a second version the jailer asked Valentine to heal his blind daughter. Valentine tried to heal her but without success. On 14 February he was beheaded, but just before his decapitation he gave the girl a note, which contained a yellow flower. The note said "By Valentine", and the girl suddenly could see again. Hence the habit of giving flowers to your sweetheart on Valentine's day.
Yet another story is one of a young couple that came to bishop Valentine to get married. The boy was a soldier and the girl a Christian. Valentine found the love between them more important than their faith and the law of the Emperor, and he married them. The Emperor did not want soldiers to get married, because they had to fight and were not allowed to be homesick. Soon more soldiers came to bishop Valentine to get married and the Emperor Claudius II ordered the arrest of the bishop. Valentine tried to convert the emperor to Christianity but failed and he was beheaded on 14 February.
After his death the Bishop's body was brought back to Terni where Saint Valentine is buried in the Cathedral. Each year a special ceremony is held in Terni on February 14th, and hundreds of engaged couples from all over the world promise each other unconditional love before they get married.
the Marmore Waterfalls
In February, there are several events in Terni. For example, there is the Marathon, Run for Love, this year on 15 February, a competition along a beautiful trail, Valnerina Valley, the green heart of Umbria, along the Marmore waterfalls, until in Terni. You can choose for 42 km or a half marathon and there is the Family Run of 5 km. The finish line is in the city center of Terni.
In Terni from 11 until 15 February you can go to Cioccolentino, an event dedicated to Valentine and ... chocolate. In the city center of Terni you will find many stands with delicious chocolate products. Take a walk along the inviting stands and taste some of the exquisite delicacies. This year some of Italy's most famous pâtissiers will presenting their cakes and pastries.