Discover one of the most popular destination in Italy.

7 Apr 2019

Gruppo UNA

When it comes to Easter in Italy, Tuscany is one of the most popular destinations. Whether you're going on hikes along the via Francigena or taste tours in Chianti country, there's a whole array of festivities happening at this important time of year.

Easter dates for Italy 2019.

The Easter celebration in Italy lasts for five days, starting on Thursday 18th April and concluding on the following Monday. Needless to say, the focal point is Easter Sunday, which falls this year on 21st April, but each day of the holiday has its own unique character.

Holy Thursday in Tuscany.

Easter begins with a riot of colour on Holy Thursday. This is when churches open their doors so visitors can check out altars bedecked with floral tributes. Tuscan hilltowns and villages like Lucca and Arezzo stage costumed parades and concerts of church music. If you're vacationing in Italy during Easter, you'll certainly want to witness a few of these time-honoured ceremonies.

Good Friday.

The Friday in Tuscany during Easter week is the scene of yet more parades. The townsfolk of Chianciano Terme recreate scenes from the Bible with colourful costumes and props. Meanwhile, in Grassina, local amateur actors put on passion plays in a tradition which dates back three centuries. If you happen to be in the valley of Mugello and you're fond of long walks, then consider taking part in the annual hike between the main churches in the area. It's a great way of seeing the sights of this beauty spot and working up an appetite for some Easter eggs.

Easter Sunday in Florence.

This is the centrepiece of Tuscany's Easter festivities. Crowds in their thousands come for the morning mass in the Duomo cathedral, followed by the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart). Starting at 10 a.m., a towering, nine-metre-tall wagon is pulled through the streets by a pair of white oxen until it arrives at the cathedral steps. A dove-shaped firework flies on a cable from the altar to the cart, igniting more fireworks piled on top to the delight of the onlookers. If you want a less touristy version of the ritual, towns like Rufina and Figline Valdarno host similar events on a smaller scale.

Easter Monday in Italy.

Monday is a day off work for many Italians, but there's still plenty going on. It's a popular day for eating out, so it's wise to book ahead if you want a restaurant meal. It's also a traditional day for picnics, whether in city parks or out in the countryside. If you're on an Easter break in Tuscany with a young family, this is also a day for Easter egg hunts. The Giardino Bardini in Florence and the Parco della Villa Reale di Marlia in Lucca are just two of the places which stage elaborate events for children -- magical occasions in beautiful surroundings. Furthermore, Easter Monday is a red letter day for antique fans, with sprawling fairs in Greve and Casole d'Elsa.

Easter in Italy: food tips for Tuscan visits.

Tuscany at Easter offers a number of tempting treats for food lovers. Local menus feature fresh quail's eggs and flans made from tangy ricotta or pecorino. Expect to see lots of lamb, whether roasted, fried in cutlets or served with long strips of pappardelle pasta. Should these not appeal, the region also has delicious seasonal offerings like garmuglia (spring soup) and scottiglia (meat stew) as well as year-round staples such as juicy Florentine T-bone steak.

Easter sweets and pastries.

You'll find plenty to sate your sweet tooth in Tuscany this Easter. How about beginning the day with a breakfast of necci (pancakes stuffed with chestnuts)? The most eye-catching of Easter pastries is probably the colomba, a fruit cake shaped like a dove and smothered in icing and chipped almonds. Meanwhile, pan di ramerino (raisin buns), quaresimali (chococate cookies) and castagnaccio (mixed nut cake) all make moreish daytime snacks.

Tuscan Easter breaks with Gruppo UNA.

To help you make the most of Italy on Easter holidays in 2019, Gruppo UNA offers some impressive hotel deals in Florence and the Tuscan hills. If you want to be at the centre of things, then the UNAHOTELS Vittoria Firenze provides a convenient location and wealth of amenities. Easter isn't too early to get in some golfing, and the UNAHOTELS Poggio dei Medici Toscana boasts an immaculate course among its many attractions. Tuscan retreats such as these give you the chance to pamper yourself while also experiencing the region's ancient customs at their most authentic.

Take a look at our other articles for travel advice, tips and information that'll come in handy when booking your 2019 trip to Italy.