How does one spend Easter in Italy?
An old saying goes like this:
“Natale con I tuoi. Pasqua con chi vuoi”
Which means “Spend Christmas with the family and Easter with whom you like.”
In our case I decided on our own saying “Pasqua come vuoi” – “Easter as you like it”
There were three main parts to our Easter day.
Part one. Because we were suffering from the after-effects of a protracted cold we thought our contribution to the local choir would be less than effective so we decided to go to the Mount of the Holy Grail where there is a lovely Passionist monastery now occupied by a singing “finishing school” called the Academy of Montegral and presided over by Maestro Kuhn.
I’ve mentioned this transcendental place both in its location, its pure neo-classical architecture and the quality of its music making before in a post at:
All I need to say here is that the stratospheric magic of this place never wears off.
The music and musicians were top-drawer and very inspirational. This was the programme:
Although it was a somewhat miserably cold start to Easter Day, by the time we’d come to the end of the immaculately performed concert/Mass the doors of the church opened out onto a beautifully sunny day.
Part two. Our lunch, excellently prepared by my wife, consisted of antipasto:
Lasagne al forno:
A main course included lamb (shoulder). Lamb is otherwise difficult to find at any other time since there is a very strong seasonal element to what Italians eat at any particular time. and lamb is clearly associated with Easter-time.
Then came the turn of the desert which was in three forms. Not only did we have the traditional Colombina – a dove-shaped cake decorated with nuts and candied fruit:
but also Lucca’s very own Eastertide cake, pasimata.
(A good recipe for it is at
The ubiquitous chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies which, in Italy, are wrapped to make them twice as high and which inside always contain a “sorpresa” (ours was a spinning top) followed:
Part three. To aid our digestion and to fully exploit the lovely afternoon we decided to go for an extended walk around the village hinterland accompanied by our three cats, Napoleone, Carlotta and Cheekie and also by Sandra’s youthful 93 year-old mum.
We all had great fun; the cats climbing trees and exploring surrounding tracks and us looking at the wild flowers and collecting kindling for our fire, for the evening come upon us still rather cold.
This sign says “Longoio’s fountain – self-service refreshment stall”. It’s ready for Pasquetta’s (Easter Monday’s) marathon along the thermal hills which will pass right past our house.
And this sign says “please keep your dog on a lead – sheep at pasture”. Perhaps I’ll supply Erica, the shepherdess, with an English translation?
How did you spend your Easter day? I hope you managed a walk too, with or without cats. Perhaps with a dog?