Buona Pasqua!

Buona Pasqua!

Apr 04, 2021Donatella Mulvoni

How do Italians celebrate Easter?


Happy Easter!

The Holy Week is one of Italy's solemn holidays. Italians celebrate Easter all over the country with religious ceremonies, popular festivals, and some local traditions and rituals. Easter in Italy is usually a sweet time because it officially inaugurates the beautiful season with mild temperatures and sunny weather. In Italy, we have this very popular saying: "Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi," which means that you should spend Christmas rigorously with your family, but you are free to stay with who you want on Easter Sunday. 


Some restrictions

Obviously, these past terrible months of the pandemic have made it practically impossible to celebrate Easter traditionally. This is already the second year in which there will be no sumptuous Easter Lunch with relatives and friends, nor trips out of town. We will once again have to respect the restrictions imposed by the fight against Coronavirus and try to make this Easter – Pasqua, pronounced Pas|kwah - an intimate and decidedly less shared experience.

Holy Week in Rome

When the world will start finally traveling again, we highly recommend visiting Rome during Easter week. Living the traditional celebrations in the Vatican will be an unforgettable experience for you. Here, the Holy Week – "la settimana santa" – opens with Palm Sunday, and during the week, many religious ceremonies lead up to Easter Sunday. On Good Friday, the Pope leads the Via Crucis procession (the way of the cross that reenacts the trial, the sufferings, and the death of Jesus). In many cities in southern Italy, you could witness a spectacular and ancient tradition: a procession led by white-hooded believers carrying a statue of the Madonna, the Virgin Mary, and Christ crucified, singing songs of penance. Finally, on Easter Sunday in the Vatican, the Pope leads an intense and crowded mass in St. Peter's Square (though obviously not this year).

Italian Easter at the table

Traditionally, the Italian Easter menu is pretty varied, with a massive range of regional specialties. The three things that are never missed from North to South, from Milan to Palermo:
· The roast lamb
· A cake called Colomba (literally the dove because of the shape)
· A big chocolate egg (uovo di pasqua) with a fun little surprise inside 

Easter Monday 

Have you ever heard of Pasquetta? It means, literally, little Easter. It is called Monday of the Angel. It is one of the most exciting times of the season and is celebrated on the Monday right after Easter. Pasquetta consists of a beautiful "scampagnata," an outdoor picnic in the countryside with friends. It is helpful to remember that it is a very "sacred" national holiday, especially beloved by young people.

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