Liguria: torta pasqualina and Albenga violet artichokes
What to eat: for your first taste of sea and summer, spend the long Easter weekend in Liguria savoring an authentic torta pasqualina.
The pasqualina, or Easter pie, is a famous savory pie made with fresh ricotta cheese, marjoram that grows on the rolling hills of Liguria that sweep down to the sea, and the very tasty violet artichokes of Albenga, a delicious early season vegetable. All these ingredients are wrapped in at least ten very thin sheets of pastry dough, which many housewives in Liguria still make at home.
This pie is excellent with a fresh bouquet wine, like a Golfo del Tigullio or a Vermentino del Ponente, as you enjoy the view from a terrace overlooking the sea and take in some fresh salty, balmlike air.
What to see: you may enjoy the start of spring by strolling through the evocative fishing hamlets, which today have become fashionable areas that nonetheless have kept their charm intact. Nature lovers can walk or go on mountain bike, the trails of the Cinque Terre, and for those with children don’t miss a visit to the Aquarium of Genoa, and then wander about the city’s narrow alleys and backstreets where to savor fragrant breads, superb fish dishes, and other local delicacies.
Where to sleep: stay at one of our agriturismi in Liguria.
Tuscany: schiacciata di Pasqua
What to eat: In the past, women prepared thirty or more schiacciata di Pasqua every year at Easter to give away to friends and neighbors, as well as the family doctor, pharmacist, teachers and anyone else they wished to thank or ingratiate. The schiacciata di Pasqua is not the typically flat focaccia you might expect, but a semi-sweet dough as high as a panettone. The recipe was born from the local people’s need to consume an abundance of eggs at the start of spring, and their desire to celebrate the advent of warmer weather and the Easter holidays with something soft and sweet. The schiacciata di Pasqua is great for breakfast or a snack, with chocolate or – why not? – sliced meats, and today still entices the appetites of both children and adults.
The simple but slow and elaborate preparation, which entails various risings and time in between, is the perfect metaphor for a region like Tuscany where the pace of life has remained like bygone days. The vibrant fields and hills, terracotta hues of medieval hamlets and Tuscany’s magnificent blue sky suffice to give you a taste of happiness that endures well past your stay.
Don’t miss out on other traditional dishes during the Easter holiday, from lamb to rosticciata with olives, buccellato cake to cantucci served with vin santo.
What to see: There’s certainly no problem filling your days in Tuscany. From visiting the most important city of art, Florence, to relaxing at the spas in Chianciano or Montecatini, exploring Maremma on horseback, watching local Easter processions evoking the Via Crucis or partaking in the exciting Tuscan tradition scoppio del carro, or “exploding the wagon”, Easter in Tuscany is a treat for everyone.
Where to sleep: Stay at one of our agriturismi in Tuscany.