Liguria: torta pasqualina and Albenga violet artichokes
What to eat: For your first taste of spring by the seaside, spend the long Easter weekend in Liguria savoring an authentic torta pasqualina.
The pasqualina is a savory Easter pie made from fresh ricotta cheese, marjoram that grows across the rolling hills of Liguria and the tasty violet artichokes of Albenga, a delicious seasonal vegetable. All these ingredients are wrapped in at least ten very thin sheets of pastry dough and baked, as per tradition, in the homes of many Ligurian families.
This pie is excellent paired with a fresh local wine, like Golfo del Tigullio or Vermentino del Ponente, as you enjoy a view of the sea and breathe in Liguria’s salty, balmy air.
What to see: Take a stroll stroll through the characteristic fishing hamlets, which, despite their overwhelming popularity with tourists, have managed to keep their charm intact. Nature lovers can go on a walk or mountain bike ride on the many trails in the Cinque Terre, while families with children shouldn’t miss a visit to the Aquarium of Genoa, followed by a jaunt through the city’s narrow alleys and back streets where you can 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.