Holy Week, the most important week in the Christian calendar, is marked by beautiful Easter festivities and solemn religious processions throughout Italy. Here is our quick pick of the most interesting Easter events that you can visit on Italy Private Tours.
Easter in Rome
Masses held in Rome at Saint Peter’s Basilica during Easter celebrations attract thousands of people. On Holy Thursday, a special Mass with the blessing of the holy oils is presided over by the Pope. In the evening of Good Friday, the Pope leads a procession of the Stations the cross to the Colosseum commemorating the fourteen stages of Christ’s passion. On Easter Sunday, a huge crowd gathers at Saint Peter’s Square to see the pope delivering the blessing known as “to the City and to the World” from the balcony of the basilica.
Good Friday procession in Chieti, Abruzzo
The oldest and one of the most dramatic Good Friday processions (La processione del Venerdì Santo) is held in a small town of Chieti in Abruzzo. The tradition goes back to the 18th century and with thirteen different church congregations’ members dressed in hooded capes. They slowly walk along the town’s old streets carrying torches and stations of the cross accompanied by Miserere played by a 100-violin strong orchestra.
Scoppio del Carro, Florence
In Florence Easter Sunday is celebrated with the “Explosion of the Cart” (Scoppio del Carro) event. A beautifully decorated cart is pulled by white oxen through the city’s streets to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. After the mass the fireworks on the cart are lit up.
Easter in Sicily
There are several stunning Easter processions that take place in Sicily on Good Friday that it is possible to enjoy during Italy Private Tours. In Enna, more than 2,000 friars in hooded capes solemnly walk through the streets of the city. The Good Friday procession in Trapani (La processione dei misteri) is 24 hours long and is one of the oldest in Italy. Groups of locals carry 20 artistic representations of the Passion and Death of Christ decorated with silver and lit up beautifully.
Photos via Flickr by: Francesco Dazzi, Mauro Cacciola.