The Easter Holidays in Tuscany
The Easter period is one of great religious and cultural importance in a prevalently Catholic country such as Italy.
In a small village like Civitella Marittima, the Holy Week festivities are particularly significant, most of all because they are an occasion for the locals to come together and celebrate.
The religious rites begin on Holy Thursday with the washing of the disciples’ feet during the evening mass.
On Good Friday, a procession makes its way through the streets of the village as the priest visits the Stations of the Cross. This procession follows a very ancient tradition.
The bells of the church are tied down so that they cannot ring during this period of great sadness.
Each balcony is lit with candles to light the procession which passes beneath in silence.
The participants carry candles, statues and signs, in memory of the signs carried by the Roman soldiers along the path to Golgotha. Each Station of the Cross is decorated with lights and flowers.
In the church itself, the tomb of Jesus is recreated and decorated with white flowers and “veccia“. The veccia plants are wheat that has been grown in the dark by the women of the village so that instead of its usual brilliant green colour, it is completely white.
The most important religious celebration of the week takes place on Saturday evening and on Sunday. During the mass on Saturday evening, the church bells ring at midnight and the statue of Christ resurrected is uncovered.
The “Easter Lunch”
It is traditional to celebrate Easter with a big lunch amongst family and friends. Typical Easter foods, besides the ever-present chocolate eggs, are boiled eggs that have been blessed during the Easter mass, roast lamb and the “schiacciata di Pasqua“, a type of cake made with aniseed. And of course “colomba“, a dove-shaped cake.
Easter celebrations end with “Pasquetta“, or Easter Monday. In Italy, Easter Monday has traditionally been a day spent outside the home. People go out for a drive, head for vacation spots or for the great cities of art.
Some ideas for very special Easter Holidays in Tuscany
From Casina di Rosa, you can choose to spend Easter Monday in cities like Siena, Florence or Rome, or take a relaxing drive through the countryside to smaller centres like Pienza or San Gimignano. It you want to spend the day outdoors, the sea, the mountains and the countryside are all at your doorstep.
Travel deals for your Easter in Tuscany by Casina di Rosa
Casina di Rosa has several travel deals for your special Easter holidays 2011 in Tuscany.
Banner photo by Sprengben.