Easter, or Pasqua in Italian, is a huge holiday throughout Italy, second only to Christmas in its significance. It’s celebrated throughout the country with massive religious parades and festivals, most dating back hundred of years.
Religious processions are held in most cities and towns from Good Friday, right up to Easter Sunday with a great sense of solemnity. Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (known as La Pasquetta) by contrast, are days of abundant celebration.
Some of the famous Easter celebrations in Italy are:
Enna in Sicily has a grand procession on Good Friday with more than 2000 friars dressed in ancient costumes walking through the streets of the city.
Elsewhere in Sicily, Trapani hosts several elaborate processions throughout Holy Week featuring large statues of Jesus and Mary. Their Good Friday procession – Misteri di Trapani – goes for 24 hours!
Chieti in the Abruzzo region in home to the oldest Good Friday procession in Italy and features 100 violins playing Secchi’s Miserere.
In nearby Sulmona, they celebrate with La Madonna Che Scappa in Piazza. Participants meet in the main square dressed in white and green to signify hope and rebirth. A woman dressed in all black plays the role of Mary. She suddenly changes into green amidst the dramatic release of doves.
Throughout Umbria, live passion plays are put on during the night of Good Friday in towns such as Montefalco and Gualdo Tadino. Others enact the stations of the Cross, or Via Crucis. The hill towns of Orvieto and Assisi hold torchlight processions to celebrate the season.
Florence celebrates with real flair with Scoppio del Carro which involves blowing up a large decorated wagon filled with fireworks at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. The Archbishop ignites the cart with a dove-shaped rocket.
Of course traditional feasts follow all of these festivities to celebrate the end of the Lenten season of fasting and sacrifice. Traditional Italian Easter foods include lamb, goat, artichokes, special regional Easter breads, and of course chocolate Easter eggs (though they are not bought by a bunny!). There’s no exception here at Gelateria Gondola where we will be celebrating this Pasqua with three special flavours:
We’ll even by open on Easter Sunday and Monday from midday to 10pm (but closed on Good Friday) so be sure to come by for a scoop or two of Easter joy.
From all of us here at Gelateria Gondola, we wish you all a buona Pasqua!