San Martin’s day, the favorite tradition of Venice’s children

    600 292 Venezia Autentica | Discover and Support the Authentic Venice

    Venice's Saint Martin Festival in a nutshell

    San Martino, the 11th of November, is a day dear to the Venetians, and especially to the youngest ones who can be found walking around the city in groups, singing, hitting pots and pans to celebrate the saint.

    This important festival in Venice has a long tradition.The cult goes back to the VIII century, the time when the church of Saint Martin was founded in Castello, perhaps by refugees from the city of Ravenna, known for their devotion to the saint.

    San Martino celebrated by children in Venice.

    How is Saint Martin celebrated?

    It is said that the celebration of St Martin was first more of an adult thing where eating and drinking seasonal products, such as wine and chestnuts, was customary. It then evolved to be more of a kids business, during which the little ones were going around asking for treats. In many aspects, it can remind us of the more known festival Halloween, but with few differences: the kids sing a traditional song, beat pots and pans with wooden spoons, wear paper crowns, and instead of knocking at the door of anybody, they specifically count on the generosity of shop-owners.

    San Martin today

    Unfortunately, it is a tradition which is disappearing, even though nowadays on 11th of November, you can still meet children around Venice, out with their mum and friends, all making a lot of noise and hoping to get some candies and money, which they ask for, singing this traditional Venetian song:

    SEE ALSO  The Gondola is Venice most iconic boat. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about it.

    “San martin ze ‘ndà in sofita
    par trovar la so novissa
    la so novissa no ghe gera
    San Martin col culo par tera.
    E col nostro sachetin
    cari signori se San Martin
    Su ‘sta casa ghe ze do putele
    tute risse e tute bele
    col viseto delicato
    suo papà ghe lo gà stampato.
    E col nostro sachetin
    cari signori se San Martin.
    Siora Cate ze tanto bela
    in mezo ‘l peto la ga ‘na stela
    se no la gavesse meritada
    so papà no ghe la gavaria dada.
    E col nostro sachetin
    cari signori se San Martin.
    Siora lussia la fassa presto
    ch’el caligo ne vien adosso
    el ne vien adosso sul scarselin
    siora Lussia ze Sa Martin.
    E col nostro sachetin
    cari signori se San Martin.”

    I'm visiting Venice. Why should I follow your recommendations?

    The way you visit Venice has an impact both on the quality of your experience and on Venice itself.  Chilling, exploring, shopping, eating and drinking where the locals do, can make a huge impact both on the memories you bring home and on the local economy and community.

    Liked this article? Don’t forget to share the love!  

    Facts, Curiosities, History of Venice, Italy

    What sighs was the Bridge of Sighs in Venice really about?

    SEE ALSO  Cicheti etiquette: the best way to get closer to the Venetian in you

    More about life in Venice, Italy

    Want more tips, tools and stories from Venice, Italy?

    We're on a mission to make it easy and fun to discover and support the authentic Venice. Try our email and see for yourself!

    Thanks for signing up! If there is no e-mail in your inbox in the next hour, remember to check your spam folder and to add us to your contact list. Thank you! Get access to our live videos and even more content: like us on Facebook to add daily goodness to your feed. A presto!

    Oops! We're sorry, something went wrong. We'll fix it soon. In the mean time, you can like us on Facebook to stay in touch!

    Thanks for the love! Stay updated, follow us: