Many different ways to celebrate Easter in Italy
As every Christian festivity, Easter (Pasqua) plays a central role in Italy: it is the second most important festivity after Christmas. During the holy week throughout Italy, people celebrate Easter with rituals and processions. If you visit Italy during Easter, you will have the chance to discover the ancient Italian Easter traditions.
In Florence, for example, it is very popular the "Scoppio del carro" celebration (Explosion of the cart), which dates back about 300 years ago. A huge decorated cart (built in 1679, with some fireworks attached) is dragged through Florence by white oxen decorated in garlands, until it reaches the Duomo.
Other remarkable rituals take place in Sulmona, in the Abruzzo region, with La Madonna Che Scappa in Piazza (The Madonna thar runs away). On Easter Sunday people dress in green and white, colors of peace, hope, and resurrection, and gather in the main piazza. The woman playing the Virgin Mary is dressed in black. As she moves to the fountain, doves are released and the woman is suddenly dressed in green.
Traditional Easter meals vary from region to region, but eggs and roasted lamb are common elements everywhere. Eggs represent life, fertility, and renewal, all of which are essential symbols of Easter. Dyed eggs grace many Easter tables, and eggs are often found in soups and in a traditional Easter pie (Torta Pasqualina). Roasted lamb, as a symbol of birth and the Shepard, is a traditional main course.
Beautifully decorated chocolate eggs are a traditional Italian Easter treat and gift! Chocolate eggs are a symbol of Easter even for non religious people. Everybody gets an egg for their dear ones. Many cake shops and bakeries produce finely hand made eggs, using the best chocolate avalaible. Inside each egg is hidden a small gift.