5 Traditional Italian Easter Foods

5 Traditional Italian Easter Foods

Mar 31, 2021Donatella Mulvoni

In Italy, it would not be Easter without these famous and beloved dishes

Easter week celebration on the table

Easter time is one of the best moments of the year to visit Italy. Spring is in the air; the weather is mild. But above all, it's an opportunity to enjoy some of the Italian Easter tradition's delicious dishes, consumed exclusively during this holiday. Here are five delicatessens that make Easter unique in Belpaese.


The prominent centerpiece of the Easter table is undoubtedly the lamb. Traditionally "l'agnello" (the lamb) represents life. If you are celebrating Easter in Rome, you will eat "abbacchio," crispy lamb ribs with a side of vegetables like artichokes. Staying in beautiful Rome - the Eternal City - another typical dish is the so-called "abbacchio alla romana," baby lamb cooked with herbs, anchovies, and white wine. In other regions, equally popular is the roasted lamb with a side of potatoes. The suckling goat is also very popular, especially in the South; It is called "capretto" in Italian.

Easter Egg

In Italy giving and receiving chocolate eggs is a beloved Easter tradition. At Easter time, you can find eggs of all sizes and flavors. Milk, dark or white chocolate, but also with nuts, pralines, or other delicacies. But it's not just chocolate! Little ones love eggs, especially for the tiny gift hidden inside them. Why eggs? Because eggs symbolize life and fertility. 


You can't celebrate this holiday without a slice of pastiera, cooked on Thursday and eaten on Easter Sunday. This is a traditional tart made with a filling of ricotta, eggs, boiled wheat berries, and flavored with orange flower. The original Neapolitan recipe has pork lard (today substituted with butter).


If you prefer rustic and salty flavors, we recommend you not miss the famous "casatiello," a specialty from Campania. This rustic ring-shaped bread is stuffed with salami, lard, cheese, pancetta, and whole eggs cooked in their shells and placed within the dough.


Last but absolutely not least comes the very traditional "colomba". This is the twin sister of panettone (the famous Christmas sweet bread). While the dough is similar to panettone, it contains candied peel instead of raisins and is sprinkled with almonds and sugar. The name literally means "dove," thanks to its traditional shape.

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