Easter in Italy is full of traditions. You might know we call it “Pasqua”, but have you ever heard of “Pasquetta”? Ok, let’s start from the beginning, or at least those 5 or 6 things you should know if you come to Italy during Easter time.
First of all, a proverb says: Christmas with your beloved, Easter with the ones you want. That means, if Christmas has to be spent with your family, you should feel free to spend quality time with friends on Easter time. Don’t feel guilty if your old grandma will spend Easter at home, napping all day and cuddling her cat. But remember to call her at least!
Another saying claims that if on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, there is a shining sun expect rain for Easter. So plan to meet friends in a restaurant or a country house where you can organize a sheltered barbeque.
Barbeque. The best way to celebrate Easter or, more often, the day after, Pasquetta, is an outdoor barbeque. Anywhere is better than staying at home. The best option is the country house of that friend of a friend who happens to have a super villa right outside the city. Enough to make you immediately feel on holiday. At least until 6 pm, when you realize you are back to work the very next day.
Pasquetta aka Easter Monday. Those who can’t deal with leaving old grandma alone on Easter, normally chose to spend that Sunday with her. Especially if she still buys you a chocolate egg and lend you some money, no matter how old you are and how many children you’ve procreated. So, Easter is again a family day with a huge dinner and chats, while the next day Pasquetta is the “with the ones you want” celebration. So, expect Italians to organize a pic-nic, barbeque, or meeting in restaurants, with not less than 20 people. There are several ways to spend Pasquetta, but only one fixed element: food.
We eat. A lot, for long hours, without regrets. The Romans, our ancestors, did, we are not supposed to break such a long tradition.
We can indulge on meat (roasted lamb and goat above all), salty pies (every region has a different tradition), salads (vegetables is good not to feel guilty for the thousand calories you’ve ingested) and sweets. From chocolate eggs (we do also have some bunnies, but eggs are definitely more popular in Italy) to the so called Colomba. This cake is the Ester version of Panettone, even if the recipe is slightly different. It has the shape of a Dove, Colomba in Italian. The traditional recipe has almonds and candied fruit.
This one has candied pear and chocolate.
But you might find any sort of Colomba: with limoncello, moscato wine, gianduja chocolate, cream… Don’t think about diet on Pasqua and Pasquetta. The hard job will start immediately after, as soon as you realize the next long holiday will be on summer and you have to get ready for your swimsuit. But this is definitely another story…