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Celebrating Easter In Italy

Celebrating Easter In Italy

Easter (or Pasqua) is an important time for celebration in Italy, with a wide range of different traditions and events taking place across the country. For those travelling to Italy, it’s a fantastic time to take in the exciting processions, sample local delicacies and experience Easter in a new and captivating way.

Of course, the epicentre of Easter traditions in Italy is Rome – Vatican City, to be precise. On Good Friday, crowds gather together in St Peter’s Basilica to listen to the Pope’s mass, which is followed by a candlelit procession with the Pope leading the Stations of Cross or ‘Via Crucis’. At each station, the Pope reads a meditation in various languages – a truly unforgettable experience.

Wherever you’re heading in Italy, you’re guaranteed the ultimate Easter getaway. But before packing your bags and heading out in search of adventure, here are five things you need to know about Easter in Italy:

The locals make a beeline for the countryside

Soaking up the beautiful spring sunshine and making the most of the long weekend, Italians in huge numbers escape to the country over Easter. If you want to enjoy Easter like an Italian local, perhaps include an excursion to Italy’s beautiful countryside during your trip. Visitor volumes in towns and cities increase significantly over Easter, though not nearly to the same extent as the mid-summer seasonal peak.

Most major sites are open throughout Easter

Despite the significance of the occasion, the vast majority of major sites and attractions across Italy remain open during Easter. The one major exception of course being the Vatican, for obvious reasons. It’s also a similar story with cafes, restaurants and eateries in general, which for the most part welcome visitors throughout the Easter celebrations. If planning to dine out over the Easter weekend, be sure to book ahead as places in prime restaurants across the country are typically reserved far in advance.

Religious processions and festivals are everywhere

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to head to a major town or city to take in the spectacle of a traditional Italian Easter procession. In fact, you’ll find something close to your location – wherever it happens to be. Open to all-comers irrespective or religious beliefs, Italy’s iconic Easter festivals are the stuff enjoyable family breaks are all about.

You’ll need a healthy appetite

Italy is renowned for its relentless collective appetite. Over Easter, the country’s love affair with food is taken to the next level, when restaurants and bakeries across the county explode with decant delights. Lamb (abbacchio) is the main staple on the Italian Easter menu, along with lavish chocolate eggs and delectable desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The Italians love Easter picnics

Last but not least, there’s a saying in Italy – “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” (Christmas with your family, Easter with whoever you want). But whoever you choose to spend Easter with, be sure to spend a good chunk of it outdoors. The Italians love nothing more than an idyllic Easter picnic out in the countryside, which typically means involving as many people as you possibly can.

The classic case of the more, the merrier!