Florence gets festive for the Easter holidays, as schools take a break and many events are organized all over. 2022 sees the resumption of the Scoppio del Carro, the city’s oldest tradition, and celebrations of all kinds bring some springtime cheer.
The oldest Florentine tradition, the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart) spectacle in front of the Duomo is the traditional celebration to mark Easter Sunday. Loaded with fireworks, the dove-shaped rocket symbolizing the Holy Spirit will fly out of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at around 11am on April 17 to ignite the cart known as the brindellone. The dramatic display dates back to Pazzino de ‘Pazzi and the crusades in 1099. If the dove-shaped rocket carrying a blessed olive branch completes its journey perfectly from the altar to the brindellone, harvests are bound to be good, if however, it’s not the ideal journey we all hope it to be, it’s said to be bad luck!
Easter services at St. James’ Church (Episcopalian) take place at 11am on Palm Sunday (April 10), 7pm on Maundy Thursday (April 14), 12pm and 7pm on Good Friday (April 15), and 11am on Easter Sunday (April 17), with an Easter egg hunt in the garden at via Rucellai (055 294417). St Mark’s English Church (Anglican) have their Palm Sunday Choral Eucharist and ceremony at 10.30am on April 10, Maundy Thursday Choral Eucharist at 6.30pm on April 14, a Good Friday Concert on April 15, and Easter Sunday Choral Eucharist at 10.30am on April 17 (via Maggio 16). The Mosaico Church (Evangelical) holds services in English and Italian at Spazio Alfieri, via dell’Ulivo 8. Santi Apostoli Roman Catholic Church (piazza del Limbo 1) will celebrate Good Friday (April 15), Holy Saturday (April 16) and Easter Sunday with some services in English.
The Children’s Lending Library host their annual fundraiser Easter Egg decorating party in the undercroft of the St James’ church (via Rucellai 9) from 4-6pm on April 9, with crafts, games, refreshments and a raffle to raise funds. Entrance for one child costs 3 euro, and two children for 5 euro. Accompanying adults and children under 2 are free. Membership to the library is required, with sign-up available at the door, each family is welcome to invite a child who will only be charged the entrance fee. Reservation in advance recommended via the CLL Facebook page, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to bring a medium-sized hardboiled egg!
MUS.E Firenze organize a long list of children’s workshops and events that are well worth checking out. They have also released a cartoon that details the history of the Scoppio del Carro, viewable on the MUS.E YouTube channel. Screenings take place in the Sala dei Gigli of the Palagio di Parte Guelfa from April 14-16, followed by free workshops for children aged 6-11. Reservation required by emailing email@example.com.
Parco d’Arte Pazzagli (via Sant’Andrea a Rovezzano) hosts Easter fun for the whole family from 10am to 7pm on Easter Sunday, April 17. A day packed with activities celebrates the occasion with gardening and painting workshops, as well as a magic show to entertain little ones, with more of the same for Pasquetta (little Easter) on April 18. Info on entrance fees and reservation online.
Places to eat
Villa San Michele, a Belmond Hotel (via Doccia 4, Fiesole) hosts an Easter Sunday lunch at 1pm on April 17 that sees delectable bites such as Valdarno confit egg with roasted artichokes, olives, pine nuts and ‘cacio e pepe’ sauce, followed by wild boar ragout maccheroni timbale with smoked provola cheese and juniper, then roasted lamb loin with potatoes, asparagus and lesser calamint, and topped off by citrus rice fritters with ricotta ice cream and chocolate flakes and, of course, the traditional Easter Colomba cake and Easter egg. 100 euro per person, drinks included. Book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, T: 055 5678200.
Ristorante Accademia (piazza San Marco 7) puts together traditional Abruzzese lamb or capretto, with lasagne, cured meats and delicious desserts completing the typically Italian menu. T: 055 217 343.
Red Garter (via dei Benci 33) have a special Easter breakfast on the Sunday with karaoke and a DJ set in the evening, with their ever-popular trivia night on Monday undoubtedly a great way to spend Pasquetta (little Easter). T: 055 248 0909.
The annual Easter brunch on April 17 at Hotel Savoy Florence is under the creative direction of Fulvio Pierangelini. Feast on the tempting treats at Irene’s delicious Little Tuscany corner and dessert selection, watch live cooking demonstrations and enjoy live music. 90 per person, including pre-selected wines, children under 10 dine for free. 50% discount for children aged 11 to 14, with children’s entertainment and babysitting service included. Email email@example.com, T: 055 27 35 891.
Spend a memorable Easter in five star Villa La Massa in Candeli, just fifteen minutes from the centre of Florence. The Il Verrocchio restaurant will serve Cima di Rapa, quail egg and Cinta Senese ragù, tortello stuffed with wild boar flavoured with San Gimignano saffron and Cacio Marzolino, squid stuffed with Tuscan chickpeas and Farro alla Livornese, and lamb with roasted cauliflower and almond milk served with Nepitella dried tomato and cardamom sauce, all to be finished off with Torta co ’i Bischeri and Buontalenti gelato. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, T: 055 626 11.