San Martino Church located in the sestiere Castello in Venice


Saint Martin's Day in Venice

11 November 2022

On 11 November, Venice celebrates St Martin's Day, a holiday dedicated to the saint of Tours.

Where does this tradition originate?

Let's retrace the history of the saint who went from soldier to bishop. Originally from Pannonia, in present day Hungary, the soldier Martin set out for Gaul and stopped in the city of Amiens. It is said that one freezing winter evening in 334, the legionnaire, moved by compassion, cut off part of his cloak to give it to a cold beggar. The bitter cold suddenly subsided and during the night Christ appeared to Martin in a dream, wearing the flap of the knight's torn cloak.

The summer of St Martin is celebrated throughout Europe, and especially in the Serenissima. Today, the tradition goes on: on St Martin's day, a shortbread biscuit in the shape of the saint with a sword on horseback, decorated with sugared almonds and sweets is offered. It is not unusual to run into children in the streets with pots, pans and ladles wandering around the city asking for sweets and delicacies.