The Easter holiday is not just one Sunday, but is a series of religious events that lead up to the day itself, and if you are looking to enjoy the most meaningful experience of Easter this year, you may want to do so from the comfort of your own luxury villa in Italy.
As a nation that is majority Catholic, the Easter holidays are a hugely significant annual event. As one travel expert said, “Easter is one of Italy’s biggest and most important holidays. Vatican City is a major draw for visitors during Holy Week, but all over Italy there are religious processions and services,” and that means you can pay a visit to Tuscany, Umbria, and Sardinia, among other areas, and enjoy access to gorgeous luxury rentals and the many Easter events in the area.
Easter in Italy
And what events can you count on? Again, as that one Italian travel expert noted, Easter Sunday is important, but “Holy Week begins the Sunday before, on Palm Sunday, and there are religious services and processions throughout the week leading up to Easter.” If you are in Rome, you can see the Stations of the Cross led by the sitting Pope. If you are in Sicily, you can head to Enna and watch thousands of friars carrying iconic statutes of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. If you want to witness the oldest procession in the country, head to Chieti where there are thousands of friars marching with an orchestra and singing traditional melodies.
If you are savvy enough to book your luxury villa in the Florence area for the Easter holiday, you will be able to witness one of the most unique and unforgettable celebrations. Known as the Explosion of the Cart, it is a 350 year-old tradition that is exactly as its name implies. It is a controlled fireworks event in which an antique cart is loaded decoratively with fireworks in front of the cathedral. A parade precedes the lighting of the fireworks, and the bigger the explosion, the better the year ahead for all who witness it!
If you take a luxury villa int the area around Sardinia, you might enjoy watching for one of the most peculiar Easter celebrations or activities. It is known as Scrocifissione in Oliena, and it is a time when groups of people visit churches in the area every day until the Saturday before Easter. They are seeking the Resurrected Christ, and their search comes to an end when they reach Nuroro on Easter morning to find the statue of Christ.
Easter and Food
However, anywhere in Italy is going to be an idyllic spot for the Easter holidays since the entire nation is busy preparing traditional foods and enjoying the non-religious, European traditions like consuming a lot of chocolate, and making plans for Easter Monday – or pasquetta – which is a day usually spent outdoors with friends.
And for the foodies of the world, Italy is already a hotspot, but around Easter it should be seen as even more appealing since Italians and the abundance of restaurants throughout the country are all focused on seasonal specialties. The usual dishes emphasize lamb or seafood, especially “grilled lamb (abbacchio), which will be on pretty much every menu in any restaurant in Italy worth its salt.” You will also find lamb in another way – as almond paste because there are also some unusual cakes and sweets made only at Easter.
The Colomba di Pasqua cakes (Easter Doves) are shaped like the delicate birds and full of candied peel and almonds. The Florentines have their own Easter treat, the schiacciata alla Fiorentina, a yellow cake in the chape of a fleur-de-lis and filled with cream and covered in cocoa powder. However, as another travel expert said, travelers will “find something special in every bar and bakery across the country, so indulge a little. Also, the window displays are gorgeous.”
Naturally, with so much food and the abundance of the spring season, there are also a lot of events and festivals to consider. At Easter, specifically, the Pallia dell’uovo or Egg Festival takes place in Tredozio and is a full day dedicated to eggs. There is an egg eating contest, lots of games, and many other activities all focused on eggs as part of the celebration.
The Landscape at Easter
Of course, if you are paying a visit to Italy during the Easter season, you might already know that the weather is some of the finest you might ever encounter. The days grow longer and the first wild flowers and blooms will dot the stunning landscape, making a private villa an even wiser option. After all, the Easter Monday holidays are just as important to modern Italians as the religious celebrations, but many take the opportunity to head out into the countryside, to the sea, or into the mountains to enjoy the fine weather.
While this means you can get into almost any of the major museums and sights without the crowds, (as one expert said, most “major museums and sights will be open on Easter Sunday and Monday – That includes the Colosseum in Rome, the Doge’s Palace in Venice, and the Uffizi in Florence”), it also means that some of the finest areas for picnicking may be busy with natives enjoying the holiday. Having your own gardens and grounds, terrace, and verandah where you can sit and soak up the sun would be an ideal option.
Whether you have thought of going away for the upcoming Easter holidays or you are eager to experience Italy in the spring, now is the ideal time to book a villa for the week leading up to and following this major event. You will see sights, hear music, enjoy food, and explore the landscape as it wakes from the winter. And if you can use one of the luxury rentals as your base, you are only going to enhance the entire experience.