Easter in Italy is called Pasqua – it can be called “alta” if it happens more towards the end of April, or “bassa” if instead it happens earlier in the year. When it is “alta” you might even try and go to the beach for the first time in the year!
In any case, it is a festivity to spend with friends, whereas on Christmas it is important to spend the time with the family.
According to the saying, “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” (Christmas with your family, Easter with whoever you like). In fact it is common to spend Easter Monday, Pasquetta (Little Easter) doing a trip in the countryside with friends or organising a bbq in a friend’s home.
Food traditions for Easter may very from region to region, as usual, but the key words are “eggs”, “chocolate” and “Spring vegetables”. And lots of red wine. Enough to fall asleep immediately after the hours-long lunch is over.
The typical dessert for Easter is the Neapolitan Pastiera (click here), a tart where the inside is curd, candied fruit, ricotta and cooked wheat. Another Italian dessert for Easter is Colomba, a brioche with the shape of a dove or a cross, filled with candied fruit and with a glaze made of sugar and almonds.
My favourite part is the chocolate eggs: in Italy they all have a surprise inside, which can be a toy but sometimes can be something quite fancy instead! The chocolate eggs go from a minimum of 150 gr. but can be very big. Some people make their own chocolate eggs with surprise, and give it to friends, so exchanging the eggs with the surprise is something all adults like to do 🙂
Buona Pasqua a tutti!