Easter in Rome 2013

columba, traditional rome foods, Easter desserts

The Columba – traditional Roman Easter dessert

With spring in the air and a new Pope in the Vatican, Rome is certainly a great and exciting place to visit this Easter…and that’s before we even start on the chocolate!

Attending Mass in St Peter’s with Pope Francis at the helm will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of us and luckily there are a good number of events being held over the Easter long weekend. (See our list below of great events in Rome for Easter 2013.)

After many having given up their favourite food items for lent, you can be assured that Easter foods in Rome are super delicious.

Whilst normally Italians go for a morning ‘brioche’ (the Italian version of a croissant) with cappuccino, this is one day of the year you may find savory delights such as boiled eggs and cheese-filled cakes on the breakfast menu.

Cracking open a hard-boiled egg is just to get you into practice for the next item on the Easter agenda: opening up your chocolate eggs! These will often contain little gifts inside as well for an extra treat.

There is a saying in Italian, ‘Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi!’ – Christmas with your family, Easter with whoever you want! Friends thus usually meet up for a great Sunday feast of starter, pasta or risotto, main and dessert.

One very traditional Easter food in Rome, and in Italy generally, is lamb. Hard to find at any other time of the year, it is often roasted with red wine, garlic and rosemary in a recipe known as ‘alla Romana’. Romans will also throw in a few anchovies to the pot to add a more rounded saltiness (which we promise does not make your lamb fishy at all).

Another dish you will likely find at the Roman Easter table (and luckily at many other times of the year too!) is a specialty of Rome – artichokes.

Roman artichokes, food in Rome, typical Italian recipes, artichoke recipes

Dessert is the traditional Roman Easter sweet of Colomba cake. The cakes were first made in the 1930s by famous panettone maker, Motta, who decided they just couldn’t wait a whole year to eat the delicious sweet enjoyed at Christmas time and so created the Columba (‘Dove’) cake. It is pretty much made with the same ingredients as panettone, but formed in the shape of a dove in reference to the symbol of peace. Covered with almonds and sugar, it is truly delicious!

The day after Easter is known in Italian as ‘Pasquetta’. It is tradition for Romans to head out to the surrounding countryside, or at least to one of the many beautiful parks around Rome.

The Vatican has also just opened up the Giardino Quadrato – a space measuring around 7735 metres squared, filled with perfectly manicured gardens and fine hedges.

Events in Rome for Easter 2013

Holy Thursday – 28th March, 2013

– 9:30am at the Vatican Basilica – Chrismal Mass

– 5.30pm Papal Mass being held at the Juvenile Prison “Casal del Marmo” – Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Good Friday – 29th March, 2013

– 5.00pm Papal Mass – Celebration of the Lord’s Passion

– 9.15pm Way of the Cross Procession from the Colosseum

Holy Saturday – 30th March, 2013

– 8.30pm Papal Mass at the Vatican Basilica – Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday – 31st March, 2013

– 10.15am Papal Mass in Saint Peter’s Square – Holy Mass of the Day

– 12.00pm at the Central Loggia of the Vatican Basilica – “Urbi et Orbi” Papal Message and Blessing

2013 St Peter's Square, Easter in Rome, Pope Francis

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We at ArtViva love sharing the beauty of life in the Bel Paese, from Italian art, history and culture to the wonderful food and wine and everything in between! Live the experience along with us through our articles and informative posts, and be sure to check out our outstanding small-group tours and experiences in Florence, Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre and beyond.
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