Easter, or Pasqua, is one of the biggest holidays of the year for Romans since its origins are so deeply rooted in the Roman Catholic Church. If you’re looking for more information about Easter festivities, like Masses and religious festivities, head over to our other blog post called Rome Easter: Your Questions Answered.
Easter marks the end of Lent, 40 days of sacrifice and fasting, so it’s a big day of celebration in Rome. Starting with a savory breakfast, then some sweets (a bit of chocolate, of course!), and even a day off the next day.
Easter is the one day a year Romans traditionally prepare a savory breakfast (though with the opening of lots of brunch spots in Rome, this is becoming less the case). But a traditional Easter breakfast consists of bread with cheese and salumi (cold cuts), hard boiled eggs, coratella (a saucy mix of artichokes, chicken liver, lung and hearts), and rustic, savory pies. It’s a meal that’s very similar to what has now become very popularly known as brunch. Breakfast is later and Romans take their time to enjoy the meal with family and friends.
If the weather permits, plan ahead the day before and grab bread, cheese and meats for an al fresco picnic in the park! Rome has several fabulous parks – like Villa Borghese, Villa Ada, and Villa Pamphilj – that are perfect for outdoor affairs like a family Easter picnic!
As you stroll the streets of Rome any time during lent it’s impossible not to notice all the oversized egg-shaped confections in shop windows, from supermarkets to small artisanal shops. The large giant eggs are a tradition all over Rome, given to children. Usually there is more candy or a small toy inside the egg. You can find these eggs at any supermarket and they cost just a few euros, or at some of the more precious chocolate shops around Rome – like SAID or Moriondo e Gariglio – for something extra special.
Colomba, which translates to “dove” in Italian, is a sweet, egg-based bread that’s often full of dried or candied fruits and topped with almonds and sugar. It’s delicious with your morning cappuccino as well as lightly warmed in the often.
Pasquetta, which translates to “little Easter” in Italian, is the day after Easter and considered just as important a holiday in Rome. Expect many restaurants and shops to be closed both days. In Roman households, Easter is celebrated with family and Little Easter is celebrated with friends. When the weather is nice enough, many Romans head to the beach or anywhere outside since the warmth of spring means an end to the chilly winter and the start of the Italian summer.
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Have you celebrated Easter in Rome? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!