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How to celebrate an Italian Easter

How to celebrate an Italian Easter

Emily Shaw

Easter is a big deal in Italy. For Italians, it’s the most important holiday after Christmas. Some even prefer it as it’s all about spending time with friends and the larger family circle. In essence, it’s another chance to eat lots of pasta and raise a glass with loved ones.

A traditional Italian Easter

For many Italians, the holiday holds religious significance because it marks the resurrection of Christ. This is why an entire week is dedicated to the event - known as Holy Week.

Holy Week starts the day after Palm Sunday and ends on Easter day. The main celebrations leading up to Easter Sunday take place during the Easter Triduum (triduum in Latin means “three-days length”).

On the first of the three days is Holy Thursday - marked by the Missa in Cena Domini. Which means celebrating Jesus’ Last Supper with the Apostles.

This is followed by Holy Friday (Good Friday). In Catholic countries, like Italy, a solemn mass is held at three in the afternoon, where the Passion of Christ is celebrated. 

Religious processions also take place. Here, people carry religious symbols, such as the cross, through their communities. The most famous of these events is the ‘Way of the cross’, where thousands of pilgrims gather in Rome to observe the Pope’s torchlit procession.

Holy Saturday is marked by a moment of silence. Choirs and music are absent from mass and the faithful are encouraged to spend time reflecting. Later in the evening, the Easter Vigil is held - often considered the most significant moment of Easter proceedings.

Classic Italian Easter food

The tone changes on Easter Sunday and Monday, as celebrations get going! And so does the food. Traditional Easter food varies from region to region, but roasted lamb and eggs are always on the menu. Eggs represent life, fertility and renewal - all important symbols of a classic, Italian Easter.

And of course, pasta is always the star of the show - usually eaten as the first course. 

Artichoke is also a popular ingredient used in Italian cooking around Easter time which is no surprise considering Italy is the largest producer of this vegetable in the world.

Artichokes have been described as having a mild, nutty flavour similar to asparagus. They can be eaten raw, however cooking the vegetable softens the flavour and texture and that's how we love to use them in our dishes.

If you want to incorporate artichoke into your bank holiday feast but don’t want the hassle of preparation, why not order our Artichoke and Truffle Ravioli?

Additional Italian Easter favourites include Colomba - an egg-rich cake, studded with almonds and sugar sprinkles. And obviously chocolate - although Easter bunnies aren’t as popular as in the UK. 

On Easter Monday, there’s usually plenty of food leftover. And we’re Italian - so that doesn’t go to waste! Families often meet to hold picnics in local parks, beaches and vineyards to enjoy the last of the Easter celebrations. So, if you have the day off, consider spending it Italian-style. Pack up some goodies in a basket and head out for some alfresco dining!

You can also treat yourself to one of our new cocktails. Whether you're an Espresso Martini lover or you prefer sip on a fruity Spritz outside, there's something for everyone. 

Scarpetta Cocktails - Blood orange spritz - Order online

Order your bank holiday treat

Cooking up a feast for Easter can be a challenge. If you’re still undecided and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen - give our pasta meal kits a go. They’re quick to make (ready in just 5 minutes) and consist of authentic Italian ingredients. Our pasta kits really do make a great Easter meal.

To make sure you stick to Easter tradition, why not try our brand new Lamb Malloreddus dish. It's a favourite of ours at this time of year.

We’ve also got plenty of other dishes, starters, desserts, cocktails and coffee for those really looking to indulge this April.

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Scarpetta Canary Wharf
20 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5NN
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Tower 42, 15 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 3AR
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110 Cannon Street, London, EC4N 6EU
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