In 496 Pope Gelasius I declared St Valentine’s Day as a day to honor many of the Christian martyrs named Valentine.  In 1969  Pope Paul VI decided that it was no longer to be celebrated as a Roman Catholic day.

The first time that anyone can find St Valentine’s Day associated with love & romance is in Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem Parlement of Foules  written in 1382.  The English author and poet is best known today for writing The Canterbury Tales. Chauncer is credited with making Valentine a popular saint because of his poems. During his lifetime Chaucer was so important that King Edward III ordered a gallon of wine to be given to him daily for the rest of his life!!! Within 100 years lovers were exchanging sweets, flowers and love cards called valentines. Today Valentine’s Day is the 4th most popular day for purchasing & drinking alcohol right after New Year’s, Christmas & Thanksgiving.

A few things to do here in the St Pete area for Valentine’s Day:

Chocolate & Wine

Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.

Wine Madonna,  111 Second Ave NE, #102, St. Petersburg FL  Valentine’s Day tasting pairs six delectable wines with a selection of luscious chocolates to savor. $25, registration required.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.

Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI),  4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa  A “love themed” dinner set to passionate love songs underneath a changing sky that takes you to the most romantic cities in the world. View a perfect starlit sky over Paris, Buenos Aires and Niagara Falls and hear tales of ancient love stories. $100 per couple, $80 members. This sounds so cool.

StarLite Valentine’s Dinner Cruises

Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.

Clearwater Municipal Marina,  25 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater  The StarLite Majesty and the StarLite Princess Riverboat offer couples a dreamy Valentine’s Day experience with your choice of dinner, house dessert, champagne toast with a keepsake glass and live entertainment. $59.40.

Celtic Woman

Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

    Carol Morsani Hall at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa Celtic Woman’s new show, Believe, features the all-female singing group performing classic Irish tunes. $44 and $77
      Cooking at Williams-Sonoma: Romantic Valentine’s Dinner

Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.

Williams-Sonoma (International Plaza), International Plaza, 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa $50 per class, reservations required.

Romantic Valentine’s Dinner Cruise

Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Yacht StarShip,  603 Channelside Drive, Tampa The romantic evening includes the executive chef’s special dinner, a private, reserved table, dj dancing on the lounge deck, a champagne toast and a long stem rose.$99.95