If you have chosen to celebrate Easter in Tuscany, you will surely need information and suggestions about special events, Easter customs or “things to do” that deserve to be added to your itinerary. This post should be what you are looking for…
Celebrations of Easter in Tuscany usually start the Good Friday and keep going till Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, that we call Pasquetta.
Being a long weekend, Easter is an opportunity even for Italians to relax and enjoy these days off from work. In Italy we have an adage saying, “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi”, which means that while you usually spend Christmas with your relatives, you can spend Easter days with the ones you prefer.
So, it is common to organize, especially the day of Pasquetta, some “scampagnata“, a day tour across the countryside having picnics (or at the beach if the temperature is mild), or visiting tiny hamlets, the Tuscan art cities and their museums.
With this post, I want to give you some tips about things you can do during the period of Easter in Tuscany, with your relatives or with whoever you want.
Our tips to enjoy Easter in Tuscany
Be a spectator of an Easter Passion Play
On Good Friday, few small villages host an Easter Passion Play organized by the local communities, with people wearing historical costumes for parade along the streets. On Easter Sunday and Easter Monday instead, visitors can have fun buying and tasting local products at the special markets.
Easter celebrations in Florence start with the religious procession of Good Friday that guides you from the Duomo to the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata.
On Easter Sunday, one of the most typical attractions of the Easter in Tuscany takes place in the Duomo square: the “Scoppio del Carro“,the Explosion of the cart. This folkloristic event dates back to the time of the First Crusade. The ceremony was created to distribute the Holy Fire to the people as a symbol of purification. The 200 years old cart, called in dialect Brindellone,is packed with firecrackers. A mechanical dove (Colombina) carries the Easter fire. The Colombina, moving on a wire of 7 meters length at the singing of the Gloria in excelsis Deo, reaches the cart igniting it the fireworks start.
During Easter Sunday and Easter Monday you have the opportunity to visit most of the museums of the city. Uffizi and Accademia that usually close on Mondays are open for the festivity giving the opportunity to the many tourists to visit its treasures. Other museums can be close on Sunday and open on Monday.
Reach the coastal Versilia
In coastal Versilia, it is plenty of things to do. You have only to choose. Pietrasanta is rich in art and sculptures and artists as Mitoraj first and Botero decided to live here. If you like roman archaeology, reach Massaciuccoli Romana, which overlooks the beautiful lake of the same name. If you love shopping is there anything better than the luxurious shops of Forte dei Marmi?
Finally, if the weather in Tuscany is good some bath establishment will be open and you can spend the day resting under the sun, having lunch, a coffee, or just a gelato.
Explore Lunigiana and Carrara
In northern Tuscany, in Lunigiana, you can reach the complex of the Geo-Archeo Park of Equi Terme. Take a tour into the karst caves and discover which animals lived the area during the prehistorical age studying their rests.
Another good way to spend Easter in Tuscany is a tour in the area of Carrara and Apuan Alps. Here, get lost along the narrow streets of the old city center of Carrara and take a look at one of the many art galleries you will find. Then reach the close quarries, which are famous all over the world for the white marble that even Michelangelo used to create the David. Do not miss, before leaving, a stop-over in Colonnata to taste the delicious Lardo.
Bibbona on the Etruscan Coast
Every year, the Easter Monday, the tiny hamlet of Bibbona on the Etruscan Coast hosts a feast dedicated to the Cedar, called the Festa del Cedro. There will be a market of local products, especially cedars of course, and the Palio delle Botti, a special race where each runner (representing their own district) pushes a barrel till the finish line.
Porto Santo Stefano in Maremma
Porto Santo Stefano is one of the two fisherman’s villages of the promontory of Argentario in southern Maremma. At the dawn of Easter Sunday there will a religious procession along the street that will end with the blessing of the sea.
While last year you could still skiing in Tuscany, this 2017 is giving us sunny and warm days. A perfect weather for a hike along the paths of Monte Amiata and Abetone, or to visit small lovely villages as Massa Marittima in Maremma or Montalcino in Val d’Orcia. We finally advise special markets in Siena, Fiesole (on the hills of Florence), Vinci, and an antique market in Greve in Chianti.
Buona Pasqua everybody and eats lots of Colomba!