St. Valentine’s Day. For many, it’s considered the most romantic holiday of the year. But in an era when love missives have morphed into tweeted texts of 140 characters or less – and courtships evolve online, possibly with marauders who “catfish” your dreams – sometimes we need a little reminder of the day’s true meaning. 

For those who hold fast to Valentine’s Day being a profit-driven marketing ploy, there’s no one more authentic than the namesake hero for whom we commemorate this occasion.

The Allure of St. Valentine

Back in 269CE Rome, a young man named Valentinus secretly performed Christian wedding ceremonies. This was considered an act of heresy during Emperor Claudius II’s pagan rule (where First Amendment rights were non-existent). Unfortunately, one day authorities caught him, and with the noose coming before the gavel, Valentinus was sentenced to death.

As the story goes, while on death row, Valentinus met a pretty young woman who happened to be the jail keeper’s daughter. Neither her father nor the fact that she was blind deterred the buona fide romantic crusader from pursuing the object of his affection.

With time no longer a commodity, Valentinus quickly wooed the jail keeper’s daughter. He even restored her sight – a miracle that would later seal his sainthood. She, not surprisingly, fell madly and passionately in love with him. Yet despite her desperate pleas for his amnesty, she could not save her healer. On the eve of Valentinus’ execution, he somehow slipped his sweetheart a declaration of his love, which he signed (you guessed it) – “Your Valentine.”

His day of reckoning? February 14th.  This act of love is now legendary, and centuries later we continue to annually commemorate St. Valentine by declaring our love for one another on the anniversary of his execution.

Valentine's Day Advice From The Kissing Expert

So on this February 14th, in celebration of Saint Valentine’s love and opening happiness with Coca-Cola, The Kissing Expert encourages kissing with abandon. Valentine’s Day represents an all-out license to kiss. And what better way to create a memorable moment than to land a smooch in an iconic location ... wherever you may be?

Where to Plant the Perfect Valentine's Kiss

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

According to lovers near and far, there are many thrilling places to ensure a scintillating Valentine’s kiss. Here are six of my favorites to get you started:

Bridge of Sighs, Venice

Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

1.  Heights: Kissing in the clouds atop soaring structures like the Empire State Building (New York), Eiffel Tower (Paris), the Space Needle (Toronto) or Petronas Twin Towers (Kuala Lumpur) lays the world of possibilities literally at your feet while your finger tips touch the stars. It's dizzingly exhilarating.

2.  Crossings: Cuddling beneath intimate bridges like the Bridge of Sighs (Venice) or walking across The Kissing Bridge (Canada), the Ponte Neuf (Paris) or the Chengyang Bridge (China) symbolizes a passage. Whether it be stepping into a relationship or future together, or just an affirmation of a being on a journey as one – it will leave you feeling connected and confident that your affections are reciprocated.

Bund Waterfront, Shanghai

Bund Waterfront, Shanghai


3.  City Centers & Streets: Public nuzzling invigorates with an excitement and vitality that’s electric ... and what better way to demonstrate your intent? Times Square (New York), the Spanish Steps (Rome), the Alley of the Kiss (Guanajuato, Mexico), and the Bund Waterfront (Shanghai) will energize the thrill of the moment. Another tip: Make use of a stoplight at a busy intersection in Paris or anywhere; never waste a moment to sneak in a smooch.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, South Africa

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, South Africa

4.  Edens: Parks and gardens are wonderful spaces to share a tender kiss. The lushness and natural surroundings add to the passion. Hyde Park (London) and Central Park (New York) are popular winter wonderlands. Not to be overlooked, cloistered kisses can be savored in the elegant Garden of Cosmic Speculation (Scotland), where symmetry and curves meet. Or, among the spectacular flora of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (South Africa).

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls, New York

5.  Natural Wonders: The majesty of nature can be very seductive. Views from romantic vistas like the Grand Canyon (Arizona), Halona Cove (Oahu), Niagra Falls (New York) or Machu Pichu (Peru) will sweep lovers away in a sea of desire. Park with the car top down and the radio on in the Northern Hemisphere to witness the Aurora Borealis, and you have incredible mood lighting.

Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel


6.  Nooks: Other than destinations far and wide, there are always cozy crannies like phone booths (if you can find one!), the back of taxis, car washes and Ferris wheels to spontaneously snog! Being in public adds a mischievous naughty factor that both zings the heart and tickles the toes.

But, these beautiful places mean nothing if the lips on the receiving end are not tuned to yours. Because a "supercalifragilistic" smooch relies on chemistry and synchronicity colliding in that magic moment. The “stage” just adds a little ambiance to amplify the memory of a special time and place. We can also learn a little something from Valentine about holding fast to love, no matter the gauntlet thrown in your path.

On Valentine’s Day 2013, in the spirit of have a “Coke and a Smile," The Kissing Expert encourages you to spread a little love with a “Coke and a Kiss.” It could help make the world a better place. Happy Valentine’s Day kissing!

Andréa Demirjian is The Kissing Expert and author of KISSING. When not thinking, talking and writing about kissing, she runs an independent marketing business. Andréa believes truly and simply that kissing is the key to peace on earth. For more kissing tips, follow her on Twitter.