Easter is quickly approaching! How about spending the holiday in one of Italy's charming farmhouses?
What better time than Easter break to spend a few days in one of Italy's agritourisms where you can unwind in the fresh air, bask in the spring sunshine and enjoy the heartwarming spectacle of nature's rebirth?
Easter is the Italian holiday most deeply connected to regional traditions, ancient rites, soil cycles and Christian festivities, not to mention traditional cuisine.
To celebrate the holiday, agritourisms around the country offer special packages with discounted meals and accommodations.
Many agritourisms offer excursions, horseback riding, spa and wellness packages, admittance to local celebrations and even opportunities to take part in preparing traditional Easter meals.
Choose your agriturismo for Easter by region
Ci avviciniamo alla Pasqua e una delle specialità gastronomiche abruzzesi di questo periodo sono i fiadoni, bocconcini salati ripieni di formaggio e cotti al forno. Dal gusto irresistibile! Foto Marco Rossi #Abruzzo #turismo #tastyabruzzo #paesaggidabruzzo #ig_abruzzo #yallersabruzzo #igersabruzzo #igitalia #igersitalia #yallersitalia #volgoabruzzo #liketitaly #enit #besocialabruzzo #borghi #italianvillages #italianvillage #loves_italia #italia365 #beautifuldestinations #discoverabruzzo #travelerinitaly
Easter in Abruzzo means it’s time for fiadoni, a savory local specialty consisting of cheese-filled puffed pastries baked to perfection, and agnello cacio e uovo, a traditional lamb dish. In a word: irresistible!From the region’s ancient agricultural and pastoral traditions, like the cantori della Passione (Passion of Christ singers), to the numerous Easter processions such as La Madonna che scappa (“the fleeing Madonna”) in Sulmona and Penne, Abruzzo abounds with local festivities.
For the entire Holy Week, Barile, site of a historic Italian-Albanian community, hosts the Byzantine Catholic festivity, Java e Madhe, a superb theatrical interpretation of the Passion of the Christ. Spring is also the best time of year to explore the fascinating Matera dwellings and watch the annual return of migrant birds of prey, such as the Lesser Kestrel.
On Good Friday in Catanzaro visitors can watch the Processione della Naca (the Naca is a cradle in which a statue of Jesus is laid). Following Easter Sunday mass, Vibo Valentia, Laureana di Borrello and many other small towns in the province host a parade accompanied by the triumphant anthem of a local band and grand finale of celebratory fireworks.
Easter in Campania combines spiritual rites with joyous celebrations of spring. On Easter Thursday, Naples’ residents engage in a traditional activity known as fare i Sepolcri, in which they form a long promenade and walk to seven different churches dressed in their finest. Holy Week events in the outlying towns, notably Somma Vesuviana, Sorrento, Taurano and Calitri, are absolutely fascinating. Don't miss out on the local Easter sweetmeat par excellence: pastiera.
- Emilia Romagna
- Friuli Venezia Giulia
Cividale Del Friuli hosts a traditional Easter game called “Il Truc”, which takes place in the city squares. Erto and Casso in the province of Pordenone celebrate Easter with theatrical representations of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday. Trieste is famed for its Easter tradition of preparing a simple and delicious Easter cake called pinza.
Easter is accompanied by a host of fairs and events in the municipalities of Lazio, with traditional religious plays, notably in Tarquinia, Palombara Sabina, and Pulcherini di Minturno. The town of Tuscania hosts the Processione degli Incappucciati, in which a parade of hooded men files past behind the Statue of the Virgin Mary, barefooted and tied together with chains. Lazio’s Easter cuisine is particularly abundant and varied: from the typical abbacchio lamb dish to carciofi alla giudia (Judas artichokes) and sweet maritozzi buns.
Easter in Liguria may provide the ideal opportunity for the first dip in the sea of the season, or to discover the idyllic beauty of the Cinque Terre or wonderful Aquarium of Genoa. Also, on Easter Sunday Chiavari is the site of a famous antiques market, while in Rapallo an Easter egg weighing one hundred kilograms is traditionally cracked open on the seafront. On Easter Monday visitors can choose between the olive oil fair in Moneglia, a guided tour of Portofino’s nature reserve, or the focaccia festival in Recco.
During the Holy Week Longardore is transformed into a representation of ancient Jerusalem. In Mantua, a ceremony called Ostensione dei Sacri Vasi is performed on the main altar of the cathedral. Beliefs have it that the sacred vessels contain drops of the blood of Christ mixed with soil. In the evening the two relics are carried in a procession through the streets of the old town centre led by the bishop of Mantua.
At Eastertime the center of Cagli hosts a barefoot procession of hooded members of the Catholic confraternities. In Cantiano the traditional Easter event is La Turba, an alternation of theatrical events and religious procession. In Fermignano a solemn Processione del Cristo Morto (Corpus Christi Procession) winds its way through the narrow streets of the town center, illuminated only by oil-burning torches.
On the afternoon of Good Friday in Porto Recanati, an effigy of the corpse of Christ is lowered from the cross and placed on a casket held aloft by twelve fishermen who carry it in a procession followed by the congregation. The regional cuisine at this time of year is especially generous: from cheese balls to fiadoni, meat skewers and the traditional Easter panettone called pigna.
Towns and villages, most notably in the provinces of Asti and Cuneo, offer a rich array of Easter celebrations in the form of events, open-air feasts and historical plays invoking daily life of bygone times. Ancient rites include the cantè j’euv, in which groups of youths travel from one farmhouse to the next, singing, playing and asking for eggs. In Romagnano Sesia the representation of the Passion of Christ is one of the most famous in all of Italy.
The historical pageant of the Calvary of Christ is combined, as in other regions of the country, with the celebration of the the Desolata (Madonna in Sorrow). The holy representation of the Via Crucis procession is joined by other events such as the Scoppio delle Quarantane, or “burning of mock witches”, which celebrates the end of Lent in Ruvo di Puglia, or the Nzegna flag-waving dance and game in the town square of Carovigno. Traditional Easter sweetmeats are called taralli and scarcelle.
On Good Friday in Sarule, in the province of Nuoro, a celebration of the Deposition of Christ from the Cross is held. Known locally as s'iscravamentu, the costumed pageant involves the entire local population. On Easter Tuesday Iglesias hosts the procession of the sacred mysteries in which seven effigies representing the Passion of Christ are carried around the town streets. Two days later the town hosts the procession of Our Lady of Sorrow, during which a statue of the Madonna is carried to seven churches in a symbolic search to find her Son.
Ispica still hosts an Easter tradition of medieval origin in which flagellants march through the town. In Aragona, Holy Week culminates on Easter Sunday with the "Meeting of the Giants" between Jesus the Resurrected and the Madonna, and two gigantic effigies of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
The center of Florence comes alive on Easter Sunday with the Corteo Storico parade, which starts in Via Il Prato and proceeds to Florence’s Piazza del Duomo led by a wagon pulled by white oxen. In the beautiful medieval town of Castiglione di Garfagnana, Easter Sunday showcases the Processione dei Crocioni, which is both a religious celebration and a spectacular theatrical representation.
- Trentino Alto Adige
Eastertime plays a particularly important role in the lives of the residents of Alto Adige. Every parish organizes activities for children after Easter mass, including egg decorating and a hunt for gifts brought by the Easter bunny, while adults challenge one another in the "battle of the eggs". In Vipiteno the Easter pageants, known as Osterspiele, comprise a series of concerts and plays.
On Easter Sunday and Monday the atmospheric setting of Palazzo Orca’s cellars in Città della Pieve becomes the venue for tableaux vivants depicting the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. In Passignano sul Trasimeno the ancient rite of ceremonial feet-washing is revived at Easter. On Easter Thursday Piegaro hosts a unique religious procession inspired by a wooden effigy of Jesus carved in the 18th Century. On Good Friday the ancient drama of the Passion of Christ is re-enacted along the streets of the old town center of Foligno.
- Aosta Valley
A charming Easter market is held in the centre of Aosta, while at the famous resort town of La Thuile nestled below the towering del Bulor glacier, Easter is a time for sporting events, concerts, and children's games.
In Gallio, on the Altopiano dei Sette Comuni, Easter Friday is celebrated with a large procession during which the Cross is carried through the streets of the town lit with lanterns and bonfires. Good Friday in Fratta Polesine is accompanied by a costumed re-enactment of the Via Crucis and the Last Supper. And here, specifically in Verona, is the home of Italy's most famous and well-loved Easter bread, the deliciously sweet colomba.
Celebrating Easter in an agriturismo is a unique way to experience a brief but relaxing holiday that combines culture, wellness and la dolce vita, and helps gently shake off the winter blues.