Easter in Italy

Easter in Italy is a time of religious parades and celebrations. Join in the festivities and check out what happens during this period in Italy.

Easter is the second biggest religious holiday in Italy after Christmas.  Easter, or Pasqua as it is known in Italian, is a joyous occasion for family and friends and can start at Lent (Quaresima), which marks the forty days of fast and abstinence before Easter. Mass goers pack the churches on Palm Sunday where the priest blesses the palm and hands them out to the congreagtions. Each church is decorated with palm trees and olive branches.

During Holy Week, the countryside becomes alive with processions.  This is a very traditional practice particuilarly in Southern Italy where statues of the Virgin Mary, dressed in black are carried through the streets. The statues are depicted in this way as Jesus, her son has not yet risen from the dead. It is also common to see older women following the procession in bare feet, a true sign of their devotion. On Venerdi Santo or Good Friday, the washing of the feet takes place.

One of the more popular Easter traditions in Italy is Scoppio del Carro (“Explosion of the Cart”), which takes place on Easter Sunday in Florence.  A cart, packed full of fireworks and other pyrotechnics, is lit and provides a historic spectacle in the civic life of the city. A structure standing two to three stories high is dragged through the streets behind a fleet of white oxen decorated in garlands. A successful display from the “Explosion of the Cart” is supposed to guarantee a good harvest, stable civic life, and good business. One of the easier ways to get around and partake in the celebrations is car hire Italy with pick up locations nationwide.

Easter Sunday is a day of feasting in Italy. Kids receive chocolate eggs as they do in other parts of the world, with treats placed in the hollow. There is much exchanging of gifts, usually but not restricted to food. Exchanging gifts of breads of different varieties

One of the best treats for kids and adults in Italy is the Easter Monday picnic. It really is a family day out, as everyone flocks to the nearest park or country setting to picnic together. Italians leave the city in droves on Easter Monday. They hit the country, the beach, and the mountains, anywhere idyllic enough to make the most of this special day. If you are in Rome, popular locations for picnicking include Colli Albani, south-east of the city, Frascati and Castelgandolfo. Local, traditional Easter Monday activities take place in many villages throughout the country. Of These, The Egg Race (Palio dell’Uovo) which takes place in Tredozio in the heart of Tuscan Romagna, is worth seeing.