The legend of San Marco’s rosebud
In the second half of the 9th century, the daughter of Doge Orso I Partecipazio, Maria, fell in love and was loved by a handsome young man, Tancredi. He came from a poor family and her father was against the match.
The girl decided to advise Tancredi to go and fight against the Turks, to compensate for his origins by the glory of his feats. Tancredi’s reputation was soon known all over the world but unfortunately the valiant met the dead near a rose bush. Before dying he picked a rosebud coloured by his blood and asked his friend Orlando to sen dit to his lover as an extreme gesture of love. On 25th April, the day after having received the message by Orlando, Maria was found dead on her bed, with the rosebud on her breast. This poetic gesture is preserved by tradition because from that time every 25th April Venetians use to give a rosebud to express their sentiments to their lovers.