One of the best times to visit Florence in Tuscany, Italy is during the spring, especially for the Easter celebrations. As the birthplace of the Renaissance and the cultural centre of Tuscany, the city of Florence offers a variety of festivals and events, art exhibitions, sightseeing and shopping opportunities and great cuisines and restaurants. Easter is a religious observance that involves various celebrations throughout the week beginning with a special Palm Sunday service and ending on Easter Monday, which is a national holiday.
When visiting Florence and the environs of Tuscany for the Easter break in 2020, you can expect to see and participate in a variety of exciting Easter traditions and celebrations. The main events are held over the long Easter weekend beginning on Good Friday, April 10 and ending on Easter Monday, April 13. Some events and things to do in Florence for Easter 2020 are:
Attend the commemoration of the Passion of Christ and the Adoration of the Cross at Florence’s Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore during the evening. The annual Good Friday Procession, involving hundreds of people dressed in costumes to commemorate the Passion of Christ is held in Grassina and other localities within a short distance from Florence.
Visit some of the famous Florentine museums, including the Uffizi and the Accademia Galleries, the Palazzo Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti is standard. You may also attend the vigil of the Holy Night of Easter at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at about 10 pm.
Shopping for jewellery, clothing, leather goods, souvenirs and food items at the many markets is popular. These include the San Lorenzo Market and the Mercado Central and visiting the Via Tornabuoni for designer stores and boutiques.
The highlight of the Easter events is the traditional ceremony called the “Scoppio del Carro” or the Explosion of the Cart. This is a sign of the success of the year’s harvest and involves a colourful and spectacular celebration held Easter morning, beginning with the Easter mass at the Santi Apostoli Church at 11 am. An hour earlier at the Piazza del Duomo square, a decorated cart is loaded with fireworks and is pulled by white oxen around the city in a procession accompanied by musicians and city leaders in costumes. Upon reaching the Piazza del Duomo, at about 12 noon, the dove-shaped rocket known as the “Colombina”, which is lit by the archbishop during Easter mass, flies out from the Duomo and lights the cart, setting off the fireworks and explosions to the loud cheers of the crowd.
Visiting some of the museums is an option and you may see the world’s largest crystal exhibition at La Specola Museum or visit the Boboli or the Barbdini Gardens. A big picnic with family and friends at the beautiful Florentine parks or countryside is also popular. The meal usually involves typical Easter foods such as eggs, artichokes, roasted lamb, sweet breads called “Colomba” and pastries.
Florence villas are perfect for vacationing and a private get-away with family and friends. It is important to book your accommodation ahead of time since Easter is usually a peak period and lodgings are in great demand. You may find villas with spectacular views that are surrounded by gardens and hills and some villas operate similar to upmarket bed and breakfasts and hotels.
Vacationing in Florence, Tuscany during the Easter celebrations is a worthwhile undertaking to experience the many cultural, religious and traditional ceremonies and events. You may also enjoy the historic museums, architectures, gardens, shopping and delicious foods.