Easter Tradition, the Italian way!

Easter Tradition, the Italian way!

24/03/2017 Off By tripsology

Easter is the perfect time to whisk the kids off for a springtime break to mainland Europe. With so much tradition, Italy is the ideal location to soak up some culture at this time of year, and tripsologists have found just the place….

Panicale, Italy

Panicale, Italy

Off the beaten track lies the quaint little Umbrian medieval hill town of Panicale. A world away from the feverish crowds of Florence and heaving hordes of Rome, Panicale provides a peaceful refuge with welcoming locals and quirky tradition.

Easter Traditions in Italy

Known as La Pasquetta (Little Easter), Easter Monday is the beloved encore to days of religious solemnity and ritual, and is the ideal follow-up to the celebrations of Easter Sunday. It signals a time for animated merrymaking in the fresh spring breezes and sunshine.

What do Italians eat on La Pasquetta? 

Traditionally, families will enjoy a picnic, devouring leftovers from Sunday’s feast. A La Pasquetta luncheon typically involves various cold meats and cheeses, hard boiled eggs, pasqua bread, baked pasta, pizza piena, and other delights from the previous day. If picnicking isn’t your thing, there is a growing trend in dining out on La Pasquetta, with a great range of restaurants in Panicale offering up a veritable orgy of seasonal culinary delights. In the words of Carol Field, author of ‘Celebrating Italy’, the entire point of Pasquetta is ‘to allow people to eat themselves into a stupor’. Sounds good to tripsologists!

What do Italians do on La Pasquetta? 

La Pasquetta in Panicale, however, is special for an entirely different reason. Gorging aside, Panicale hosts an infamous cheese rolling contest each year on this day, known to the locals as Ruzzolone. Ruzzolone a sport seemingly played only in Panicale, is played by rolling huge wheels of Pecorino cheese, weighing about 4 kilos, around the village walls. The object is to get your cheese around the course using the fewest number of strokes. The winner gets the cheese – though what you would want to do with a wheel of cheese that’s been rolled and battered around the village we have no idea! Once the race is over, a bandaccia band (literally ‘bad band’) entertains the crowds in the piazza with a cacophony of cowbells, horns, pots and pans! All this washed down with lashings of free wine and yet more feasting. Yes please!

So…let the rolling of the cheeses commence – Happy Pasquetta everyone!