Easter is just around the corner and Florence is a unique place to celebrate the holiday. Everyone takes some time off from work and school to come together with loved ones and take part in old traditions while indulging in some springtime sweet treats, adding even more joy to this already blossoming season.
Whether you celebrate Easter or not, all are welcome to enjoy the old Florentine tradition of the Explosion of the Cart, or Scoppio del Carro spectacle in front of the Duomo. A dove-shaped rocket (symbolizing the Holy Spirit) loaded with fireworks by the historic Florentine Soldi family flies out of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore to set the Brindellone cart one fire. This is an exciting event that is enjoyed by people of all ages and dates back to Pazzino de ‘Pazzi and the Crusades in 1099 when it was used to determine whether the season would promise good harvest or bad luck.
Read more: Scoppio del Carro: the tradition of Florence’s exploding cart at Easter
For those looking to worship, St. Mark’s English Church (via Maggio 16) holds services throughout the week starting on Thursday at 7pm for the Holy Eucharist, on Good Friday for three hours of quiet prayer from noon to 3pm, with hymns and reflection from 2pm to 3pm, and an Easter Choral Eucharist on Sunday at 10.30am, followed by refreshments.
At St. James Episcopal Church (via Bernardo Rucellai 9), Maundy Thursday Mass takes place at 7pm on April 6; the Solemn Office of Good Friday is held at noon and 7pm on April 7; and Mass of Easter Day is held at 11am on April 9, followed by a children’s Easter egg hunt in the churchyard (weather permitting).
Santi Apostoli Church (piazza del Limbo 1) holds a Mass of the Lord’s Supper in English at 6pm on April 6; Celebration of the Passion in English on April 7; Procession with the Stones of the Holy Sepulcher to the Duomo at 9pm, followed by an Easter Vigil Mass in Italian and English at 10pm on April 8; and an Easter Sunday mass in English at 10.30am.
Check out your local pasticceria and stock up on colomba cakes and chocolate eggs for all of your loved ones.
Easter recipes from The Florentine archives:
Places to eat
If you’re looking to save the dirty dishes and enjoy your Easter feast outside of the house, there are plenty of restaurants around the city open to welcome you and your loved ones.
Irene at five-star Hotel Savoy (piazza della Repubblica) offers an Easter brunch featuring star dishes such as oysters, poached eggs with hollandaise sauce, and other delectable delights for 110 euro per person. Children under 3 years dine for free and children aged 4-10 can eat for a special price of 35 euro or order off the kids’ menu. Children from 11-16 years old dine for a 50% off discount. Plus, all kids will receive a complimentary toy, given that the brunch is being held in partnership with Florence’s historic Dreoni toy shop, which is currently celebrating 100 years of business.
Hotel Brunelleschi (piazza Sant’Elisabetta) offers a tasting menu with wine pairings featuring beef tartare and artichoke risotto as well as traditional colomba cake. The cost is 90 euro per person and a minimum reservation of 2 guests is required.
Chef Tommaso Calonaci presents an Easter lunch menu in the La Buona Novella restaurant at the Grand Hotel Minerva. Lamb ravioli and chocolate millefoglie are featured on a menu for the special day for 90 euro person, not including beverages. To book a table, call +39 055 27230 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those looking to get out of the city for their Easter holiday, Castello di Gargonza in Arezzo offers an Easter lunch. They offer a 5 course menu with house wine pairings for 50 euro per person and half price for children ages 4 to 12. To book a table, send an email to email@example.com, call 0575/847021, or send a WhatsApp message to 335/7639026. Also in the Arezzo countryside, Palazzo Tiglio, reopens for the season with a gourmet Easter lunch for 80 euro per person.
Perfect for the springtime, Cibreo Restaurant and Cocktail Bar offers an Easter lunch inspired by seasonal produce with special attention given to everyone’s favorite Easter treat: chocolate. The cost for the menu is 90 euro per person with a wine pairing proposal for 35 euro. For reservations, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.