Pasqua, or Easter in Italian, is a beautiful time in the Dolomites. Not only is the renewal of spring budding from every corner – colorful displays and traditions announce the joy of the season.
Easter is Italy’s second most celebrated holiday, right after Christmas (of course). This is not surprising, given that almost 80% of Italy’s population identifies as Catholic! Whether adhering to religious beliefs, or celebrating in a secular way, the entire region – in fact the country – gets involved in Easter celebrations in one way or another. While traditions vary greatly between regions – in Italy from province to province, and in the Dolomites from valley to valley – common themes emerge.
Food traditions include serving lamb (agnello) on Easter Sunday – although the preparation varies by region. Sweets including Colomba di Pasqua – a cake similar to the panettone you find at Christmas, but dove-shaped – is a must. Chocolate eggs are a more recent addition to the traditions here, but are in high demand – high quality chocolate, wrapped in packaging so beautiful it is almost a shame to open it! But eventually everyone does, because of the hidden gifts inside the chocolate eggs!
The Monday following Easter, Pasquetta, or Little Easter, is also celebrated throughout the country. Also known as Lunedi dell ‘Angelo, or Monday of the Angels, Pasquetta is usually celebrated outdoors with a picnic. And while Easter Sunday is centered around the family, Pasquetta is more often celebrated with friends.
Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!