Talk of The Town: February 2021

Love Is In The Air

February might be the shortest month of the year, but what it lacks in days it makes up for in romance! This month we’re exploring one-of-a-kind properties built in the name of love, sharing unique Valentine’s Day celebrations around the world, and helping you find the perfect florist to ensure your sweetheart’s day is made.

Room for Romance

Sometimes love is a force so great it inspires many to accomplish amazing feats, including building breathtaking castles and one-of-a-kind homes to impress.

  1. Torrechiara Castle, Italy
    A testament to true love, this opulent Italian castle was built in honor of Pier Maria II de’ Rossi’s adoration of the beautiful Bianca Pellegrini more than 500 years ago. Today, this bold Renaissance structure is regarded a national monument.
  2. Kellie’s Castle, Malaysia
    More than 100 years after its construction, this gorgeous home is an ode to true love. Built by a Scottish expat in honor of his wife—who missed the rolling highlands of their home country—this property holds the unique designation of Malaysia’s only Scottish castle.
  3. Coral Castle, Florida
    This limestone sculpture park and castle is rumored to have been handcrafted by the eccentric Edward Leedskalnin. Containing more than 1,000 tons of limestone, this project began as a monument to his unrequited love.
  4. UFO House, Puerto Rico
    It doesn’t boast a prolific history, but this attention-grabbing home will surely stop you in your tracks. Designed and built by Roberto Rivera for his ex-girlfriend—and resulted in her attempts to win him back, to no avail—this unique home sits atop a hillside locale for all to see.
  5. The Petit Trianon, France
    As a part of the Grand Palace of Versailles, this over-the-top home was built by King Louis XV as a token of love for Madam de Pompadour and later gifted to his paramour, Marie Antoinette.

Celebrating Love Around The World

Denmark
In true Scandinavian fashion, Denmark celebrates Valentine’s Day with minimalist flair. In place of roses, people exchange homemade cards resembling paper snowflakes, each filled with a pressed snowdrop flower and a funny poem. Cards are signed with dots, one for each letter of the sender’s name, and the recipient must guess who sent the card correctly to get a chocolate Easter egg later that year.

Wales
While they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in February, the Welsh celebrate St. Dwynwen’s Day on January 25. Young couples gift their sweethearts with intricately carved wooden “love spoons” as a sign of affection.

South Africa
Just like many other parts of the world, South Africa celebrates Valentine’s Day with flowers, chocolate and romance galore—with one key difference. It’s also a day for South African women to wear their hearts on their sleeves, literally. Dating back to ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, woman and men alike write the names of their beloved down and pin them to their sleeves.

Argentina
Just one day per year won’t do in Argentina—this country celebrates Sweetness Week, in July! Loved one’s exchange candies for kisses, a tradition established by the Argentinian candy company Bon o Bon.

Say it With Roses

In need of flowers to sweep your sweetheart off their feet this Valentine’s Day? These local florists and online services offer some of the best arrangements—all delivered right to your loved one’s door!

Local Florists

Fleur
fleurchicago.com
2651 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

Southside Blooms
southsideblooms.com
6439 S Peoria St, Chicago

Marguerite Gardens
flowerpowerchicago.com
2444 W Chicago Ave, Chicago

Asrai Gardens
asraigarden.com
1935 W North Ave, Chicago

Cornell Florist
cornellflorist.com
1645 E 55th St, Chicago

Field & Florist
fieldandflorist.com
1908 W Division St, Chicago

Preston’s Flowers
prestonsflorist.com
1726 Central St, Evanston

Victor Hlavacek
victorhlavacekflorist.com
746 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka

Online Florists

Ode à la Rose
odealarose.com

UrbanStems
urbanstems.com

From You Flowers
fromyouflowers.com

Flowers For Dreams
flowersfordreams.com
Bonus points—this Chicago-based company donates a portion of each sale to a local charity!