Easter is just a couple of weeks away, and if you have booked to stay at one of our luxury Tuscany villas with your family, you are in for a treat. As Italy is a predominantly religious country, the Easter celebrations here are like no other you may have seen before.
Easter is not just a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, but also a time to celebrate spring, birth and new life. There are many things for you to do with your family, including seeing some of the local events which take place.
Go for a picnic
With the dawn of spring, the weather is warming up, the skies are blue, and nature is welcoming you to spend time outdoors. Pack up a picnic at the villa and head outside to enjoy dining al fresco in the spring sunshine. With a plethora of stunning beaches, rolling green hills and natural parks, there is no better time of year to enjoy the sun, and all nature has to offer. May your outing into a day-long affair, and take a walk through the Tuscan countryside, seeing the flowers in bloom and baby animals in the fields.
When you are travelling with young children, you always have to take their short attention span and overactive way of doing things into consideration. Some solutions to keep them occupied – which you can enjoy too – include the Park of Pinocchio where characters from the classic tale come to life or spend a day with some exotic animals at the zoo is Pistoia. In southern Tuscany, it is fairly rural, but the archaeological ruins, beaches and snowy mountains are great places to go for a day out exploring.
Art cities on Easter Monday
Cities with an interesting art and cultural heritage often make for fantastic tourist destinations, and while on your Tuscany holiday this spring, why not take the time to discover the wonderful cities like Lucca, Florence, Siena or Pisa? Visit the many museums in the various cities, wander around the old city centres which still have many original medieval and more recent buildings.
Watch an Easter Passion Play
On Good Friday, towns and villages across the region organise a Passion Play, retelling the story of Jesus’ death. Even if you have no religious beliefs, they are interesting re-enactments to see. Locals wear historical costumes and parade the streets.
The Easter celebrations in Florence start with a procession on Good Friday, taking you from the Duomo to the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata. On Easter Sunday in the Duomo square, there is the Scoppio del Carro, or explosion of the cart. This 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 which explode in spectacular fashion.
On Easter Monday, the hamlet of Bibbona on the Etruscan Coast hosts the Festa del Cedro or Feast of the Cedar. There is a market for local produce, where you can pick some delicious Italian delicacies, and the event finishes off with a race full of people from the surrounding districts who push a barrel to the finish line.