Buona Pasqua – Happy Easter

Italian Easter

Easter, known as Pasqua in Italian, is a significant holiday in Italy. Rooted in centuries-old traditions, Easter in Italy is a time of religious observance, family gatherings and indulging in delicious food. From ornate processions and appetising treats, Easter is a unique and unforgettable experience.

Religion plays an essential role in Italian culture and Easter is no exception. The week leading up to Easter, known as Holy Week or Settimana Santa, is filled with solemn processions and religious ceremonies. One of the most famous processions takes place in Rome, where thousands of people gather to witness the Pope.

Picture Betty Subrizi


In addition to Rome, many other cities and towns across Italy host processions and reenactments of the Passion of Christ. These events are often accompanied by beautiful music, such as Gregorian chants and traditional hymns.

Food is another highlight of Easter in Italy. Each region has its own culinary traditions, but certain dishes are commonly enjoyed throughout the country. One of the most iconic Easter dishes is Colomba di Pasqua, a dove shaped cake made with flour, eggs, butter and candied fruit. This sweet treat is typically enjoyed on Easter Sunday, symbolizing peace and rebirth.

Another must-try dish during Easter is lamb. Roasted lamb, often seasoned with garlic, rosemary and other herbs, is iconic on many Italian tables. This tradition dates back to biblical times when the Passover lamb was sacrificed and consumed. Today, lamb is still considered a symbol of sacrifice and redemption during Easter.

Apart from these traditional dishes, Italians also indulge in various regional specialties during the Easter season. In Naples, for instance, Easter wouldn’t be complete without Pastiera Napoletana, a ricotta and wheat grain tart flavoured with orange blossom water. In Sicily people enjoy Cassata, a rich and colourful cake filled with sweet ricotta cream and decorated with marzipan and candied fruit!

Easter Monday, known as Pasquetta, is a public holiday in Italy and it’s a time for families and friends to come together for outdoor activities and picnics. Many Italians take advantage of the pleasant spring weather by heading to the countryside or the coast. Parks, beaches and countryside are filled with laughter, food and music!

Buona Pasqua a tutti!

Pictures by Francesca Scanferla

See all Italian national holidays here