Hidden treasures

The festival of St Martin in Venice on 11 November

Local Traditions
SanMartino_big

The festival of St Martin in Venice on 11 November

If on the 11th November you go to Venice you may encounter groups of kids hitting pots and pans to celebrate St Martin.

The festival of St. Martin is very important in Venice and has a long tradition. The cult of this saint is in fact very old, since the church itself was actually founded in the eighth century, perhaps by refugees from the city of Ravenna, where the cult was followed.

In ancient times it was customary on St. Martin's Day to eat and drink seasonal products, such as chestnuts and wine, but then it became a party related to children who, like the English-speaking peers on Halloween, went around looking for treats.

Unfortunately it is a tradition that is disappearing, but nowadays on 11th November you can still meet children around Venice with paper crowns on their heads making a lot of noise beating pots and pans with wooden spoons and counting on the generosity and friendliness of shopkeepers to give them a little bit of money.

In addition, bakers display delicious ‘San Martini' biscuits and cakes made of short crust pastry, covered in icing, chocolate and sweets and representing the Saint on horseback as he prepares to cut the coat to be offered to the poor man. But also Venetian mothers cook it for their children and friends...

If you want to discover other events or traditional festivals in Veneto, visit the section of our website dedicated to the 'Events in Veneto' and search all the opportunities we offer to be part of them.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: The curious legends about the origin of Treviso Red Chicory

radicchio_CC.Mon CEil
Did you know that...

Did you know that, according to an ancient popular saying, red chicory (radicchio as it is known in Italy) seems to have been born as a...

View

Venice: Acqua Alta: when a normal phenomenon becomes tragic

Acqua-alta-a-Venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that ‘Acqua Alta’ is an expression of Venetian dialect used by its inhabitants to describe the high tides that occur p...

View

Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

restauro-adamo-eva-ducale
Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...

View

Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

contare-le-pecore
Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...

View

Top posts

Venice: The red lights of St Mark’s Basilica in memory of the poor ‘fornareto’

il_fornareto
Mysteries & Legends

If you find yourself wandering around St Mark’s Basilica in the evening, take a look at its southern façade ... you will notice two ...

View

Treviso: Why is Prosecco wine called precisely Prosecco?

colline-del-prosecco
Did you know that...

On 7 July 2019, Veneto and the whole of Italy toasted to the Prosecco Hills, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The World Heritage Commi...

View

Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

spritz-veneziano
Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....

View

Belluno: The mystery of the Pietrificatore from Sospirolo

pietrificatore
Mysteries & Legends

Nestled inside the Dolomiti National Park, in the province of Belluno lies the small village of Sospirolo. A peculiar man was born here...

View