- About us
- Shore Excursions
- Sightseeing Tours
- Day Trips
- Special Packages
Easter in Italy is a moment of joy in which friends and relatives gather to celebrate this feast with typical Italian Easter food.
If you want to spend Easter in Italy, you should definitely plan a trip to Rome and visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. On Easter Sunday you can attend in St Peter’s Square the celebration of Holy Mass held by the Pope and follow the Urbi et Orbi blessing.
As for many Italian festivities, Easter celebrations are all about having parties with friends and family, when people gather around the table to enjoy a traditional lunch with several courses that vary from Region to Region, that can last for hours.
But what is the typical Italian Easter food?
The eateries start with the first meal of the day, Breakfast. More a brunch than a typical breakfast this particular day. Normally an Italian breakfast would include something quick, maybe a croissant and cappuccino or an espresso with some toast or a couple of cookies to dunk. However Easter Sunday’s breakfast is a more elaborate, full and relaxing meal.
Easter brunch includes a variety of salty typical foods: Boiled eggs, Easter bread, the Casatiello (a spiced bundt cake typical of the southern regions and Naples, that includes chopped prosciutto, cheese and other yummy surprises), savory tarts, cold cuts and a Easter dove (kind of like a panettone, it has the shape of a dove and it’s spiced and glazed with almonds, quite delicious).
And chocolate, lots and lots of it. In fact it is the goat, especially for the youngsters. Egg hunts aside, the children will be entertained destroying the typical giant chocolate Easter Eggs before eating them, that reveal a special surprise on the inside, like small toys, gadgets and such.
Right after recovering from a delicious brunch, lunch begins. Carbs are the main event during lunch, however the first course meals vary from Region to Region, depending on each local traditions. For example, in Northern Italy, pasta dishes are made from scratch and are usually stuffed, like tortellini or the famous Agnolotti del plin, with a ground beef or veal stuffing, and served in broth. Other regions serve oven baked pasta, like Cannelloni or lasagne.
The main course for lunch is lamb, in most places, a typical Italian Easter food. Served in different ways, depending on where you are.
For example in central Italy one way to serve lamb is simply oven baked lamb chops with garlic and rosemary, with a side of twice baked potatoes.
In southern Italy it’s cooked in a stew with seasonal vegetables like asparagus and peas.
→ A fun fact, In Rome, oven-baked lamb is called “alla scottadito”, which means burning fingers, because you typically eat the hot lamb chops with your hands.
Anywhere you are in Italy, Lamb is a delicious meal served in so many different ways. Our favorite would be the typical lamb chops; simple, not so elaborate dishes are always the best choice!
One secret about cooking the perfect chops, maybe the more important, is to never over cook them, because the meat gets too stiff. To keep the meat tender and juicy 3 minutes of cooking per side are more than enough.
After the pasta dishes and second courses, sides are always a big hit. Anything from baked seasonal veggies to oven baked potatoes with rosemary and wild fennel seeds. But one of the best side dishes of all could be the one and only artichoke, the most beautiful flower of all! Cooked in different ways, artichokes are always a must on Easter. You can find it in oil, pickled or fried.
The addition of artichokes on the Italian tables during this time of year comes from an Italian Jewish tradition. For example, in Rome’s Jewish ghetto, the local kosher trattorias serve the typical artichokes “alla giudia”, baked with garlic and wild mint. A delicious recipe, easy to replicate. Which you can find at the bottom of this article, our treat to you!
To end the Easter feast, a selection of different types of desserts and pastries, that again, vary from town to town, region to region. Easter desserts are phenomenal everywhere in Italy, but they are a little extra delicious in Southern Italy.
Like in Naples, the Pastiera Napoletana is a delicious tart with whipped ricotta cheese and candied fruit, a real delicacy. But aside from the traditional desserts, you can always find the before mentioned easter doves and chocolate eggs.
After all the food, we dare you to eat at dinner! We dedicate supper to a few hours of unwinding to digest, with a nice digestive cup of tea. Because as tradition has it, round two is the next day, on Pasquetta!
Typical Italian Easter food is different from place to place, like traditions. But one thing absolutely every Italian family has in common, is to celebrate this day, surrounded by great food, loved ones and have fun.
To appreciate more some of the Italian dishes and their traditions, here is an unmissable recipe!
Stove-top baked Artichokes (Carciofi alla Romana) Serves 4:
The ingredients are:
*And you will need a pot small enough to cook the artichokes standing, so that they don’t fall over. The seasoning is purely at leisure! A generous amount of herbs is always recommended.
First thing’s first, clean the artichokes. We recommend looking up video tutorials on how to clean them the first time, because they can be quite tricky.
Once their cleaned and cut to perfection, put them in a bowl of cold water and lemon juice, to avoid brown spots and keep them nice and green and soft (leave the lemon wedges in there too. One thing Italian’s know how to do is avoid waste).
Leave them in for a few minutes. Then drain the artichokes, dry them off and start to spread the leafs using your thumbs, from the middle outwards to the ends. Keep in mind that for this recipe, the artichokes shouldn’t have needles in the center and are nice and tender, so if there are needles in the middle you should cut them off.
For the spices, we highly recommend creating a rub with part of all the condiments: thinly chopped garlic, parsley and pennyroyal, a few scoops of breadcrumbs, some olive oil a dash of salt and pepper and then spread the rub generously through the leaves and in the middle to leave them nice and moist. Or you could leave the garlic whole and at it to the pot during cooking time, whatever you prefer. Keep a small amount of herbs whole as well, to add to the pot later.
Final step is to put a generous amount of oil in the small pot, put in a few garlic cloves, if you feel like keeping them whole instead of chopping them in the rub, and add in some chili flakes (optional) as soon as it starts to sizzle, add in the seasoned artichokes, bottoms up and leave to bake for a few minutes. Add the remaining of the herbs, sprinkle some more salt and cover the pot. Leave to simmer at low heat for approximately 20 minutes or until the whole artichokes, from leaf to heart, are nice and soft.
Your artichokes are done to perfection! Put them in a small serving tray and drizzle all juices from the pot, for the finishing touches.
you may be interested:
As if a day in Rome wasn't enough, we will take you for a private tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel! A private tour in Rome to remember Enjoy a full day tour in Rome and the Vatican City with your private luxury vehicle. Your personal tour driver will pick you up directly from any place you want, from your hotel or other. And your tour begins! Drive by Piazza Venezia,the impressive circular square, with buildings and monuments enclosing it. With the infamous Balcony from which Mussolini gave his speeches, on one side. Or L'Altare della Patria, Monument to the last king of Italy Vittorio Emanuele the Second, a giant marble white, ancient temple-shaped building that climbs on the side of one of Rome's legendary Seven Hills, Capitoline Hill. Also known as Campidoglio, it hosts incredible views of the Piazza Venezia on one side and the Roman Forum on the other, the perfect division between the ancient Roman past and the present. Speaking of Ancient Roman times, you will head for the Colosseum A stop to see the Mighty Colosseum up-close is definitely a must! Walk Ancient ways of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Drive by the Circus Maximus,a field used mostly for concerts and political events today, but it was once an arena used to entertain Romans while they watched and cheered during water spectacles, fights or reenactments. It was often used as movie sets, like in the film BenHur. To remain in the Roman theme, circle back around into the City Center, characteristic for it's narrow cobble streets that lead to so many wonders. Like the Pantheon! An ancient Roman Temple with a beautifully decorated dome and an incredible history. Created in ancient times, to worship All Gods, it is now one of the active Catholic churches in Rome. To learn more about the Pantheon, visit our blog! Then there's Piazza Navona, not to far from there. A Renaissance delight, with incredible architectures and beautiful fountains, like the Four Rivers fountain, by Bernini. The streets filled with cute little boutiques, old buildings, ivy crawling over the facades and window sills, reveal beautiful wonders, that you will not find in any other place on Earth! Like the Spanish Steps. A beautiful street with the famous sets of stairs that climb into the shape of a giant butterfly up to the square of Trinità dei Monti, which offers incredible views of the Spanish steps below and the busy Via dei Condotti, famous for the most in vogue haute couture stores. One of the adjacent streets hides possibly the most famous Fountain in the WORLD The Trevi Fountain is another mandatory stop. Embedded in a tiny little square, is the world famous fountain. With sculptures of different water related scenes, sea shells, dancing horses and Poseidon. Waterfalls and pools of crystal clear water. What an amazing work of art. Make sure to toss a coin over your shoulder and make a wish! Legend has it, it will guarantee your return in Rome. All this touring can sure work up an appetite! Lucky for you, all of our tour drivers not only know the perfect places to see in Rome, they also love food and know the best restaurants in town! So your tour driver will be happy to recommend the perfect restaurants, trattorias or pizzerias depending on what you are in the mood for. Finally, you driver will take you at the Vatican Museums where you will continue the tour to explore the Museums and the Sistine Chapel! Prepare to sigh! We dare to find something as beautiful as the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel *Upon request, we can arrange one of our qualified guides to take you to a once in a life time experience inside the Vatican. Not to mention, you'll be able to also visit the Basilica of Saint Peter aside from the Museums and Sistine Chapel. In fact, since the entrance in Basilica is free and they've devoted its access only from outside, all the way in Saint Peter's Square, our personal guide would be able to have access of the Basilica from inside the Museums, through an exclusive entrance for guides. So this is certainly something to consider, should you want to include Saint Peter's Basilica to your tour. Other wise you will enjoy your time inside the Museums and Sistine Chapel alone, freely and at your own pace! Without having to stick to a strict itinerary a guided tour would inevitably have. Just know that depending on the number of visits in a day, some wings might be closed. But this won’t matter at all, we can assure you, there is just so much to see, you’ll hardly even notice! To fully assist you, we do offer the possibility of adding Skip the line tickets with privileged entrance directly during the booking process. At the entrance, the customer service will hand you a map of the site, for you to explore the different areas of the Museums and the Sistine Chapel! What you will experience would includes is a system of wings and halls and terraces, including the Cortile Della Pigna, Belvedere, Pio Clementino Museum, the Gallery of Candelabra, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Maps, and Raphael’s Rooms. Next, you will visit the beautiful Sistine Chapel. The breathtaking, overwhelmingly beautiful creation for you to admire! From there, you'll head back to the exit, a trod on the famous cylindrical stair case. Another undisturbed masterpiece, called "Momo" designed by an Italian architect in the 1930s, inspired by Bramante's double helix staircase from the 1500s, inside the Pio Clementine Museum, a wing of the Vatican Museums. From the Momo stair case you'll exit the Museums to find your private tour driver eager to hear your opinions on the experience. And you'll return to your Hotel location in Rome in time for the afternoon tea.
Get ready to enjoy this amazing Vatican tour! An exclusive Private Tour of the Vatican. You will meet with your personal guide for the experience, directly at the Vatican Museums Entrance. Skip the line tickets included! Vatican City, hosts some of the Worlds’ most important art triumphs, created by Raphael, Bernini, Michelangelo, and other magnificent artists. Visit impressive masterpieces, like the frescoes of The Four Raphael Rooms and some of other famous works of the Italian Renaissance. Your personal guide will explain the importance of the bond between art and Christianity, and how it impacted society through the centuries. Experience the Sistine Chapel’s overwhelming beauty. The peak of this private tour, will be your visit to the Sistine Chapel. Admire the most important and known masterpiece, Michelangelo’s “The creation of Adam”. To top if off, you’ll visit the cradle of Christianity, St. Peter’s Basilica. You will have the chance to appreciate the greatness of Michelangelo’s famous Marble sculpture, the Pietà, or Bernini’s magnificent bronze altar. Get the full experience and visit the World famous St. Peter’s square, after the Basilica.