If you travel to Italy during Easter, you won’t find the standard American holiday decor like pastel-colored eggs and comically large rabbits. Easter (Pasqua) is more important than Christmas to most Italians, and the locals take the celebrations quite seriously. Discover Easter in Italy, and explore the country with AESU!
Good Friday in Rome
On the Friday before Easter Sunday (Good Friday), thousands of locals and tourists gather in Rome near the Colosseum to celebrate the Stations of the Cross. At the end of the service, the Pope gives a blessing and a giant cross with burning torches lights across the sky. The tickets to the service are free but must be ordered at least two to six months in advance!
Easter Week Processions
On Good Friday, Saturday, and sometimes Easter Sunday, solemn religious processions take place in cities throughout Italy. Participants dress in traditional costumes, such as long white robes, and carry a statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus through the cobblestone streets. In Trapani, a small coastal city in Sicily, the locals participate in a procession that’s 24 hours long!
The Scoppio del Carro
In Florence, the locals celebrate Easter Sunday by filling a decorative wagon with an arsenal of fireworks. The Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart) dates back over 350 years and is believed to ensure a good harvest for the entire city. After the Easter mass, the Archbishop lights a dove-shaped rocket on fire and pushes it down a wire towards the cart, triggering a fantastic display!
The End of the Lenten Season
Easter signifies the end of the Lenten season, which means that food and drink are a big part of the celebrations! Grilled lamb appears on tables throughout the country, and children line their pockets with marzipan lambs and hollow chocolate eggs. Enjoy a slice of Colomba di Pasqua (Easter Dove) with coffee. This dove-shaped cake is topped with candied peel, pearl sugar, and almonds!
Explore Italy with AESU!
AESU offers unique, thrilling travel programs for college students and young professionals at affordable rates. Each trip is action-packed and informal—designed just for people your own age. We are also able to design custom tours just for your group.
2019 tour dates and prices are available and selling out quickly! If you have any questions or want help booking your European adventure, please contact AESU by calling 800-638-7640, or fill out the contact form found on our website. Follow AESU on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.