Good Friday and Easter Week Processions
Solemn religious processions are held in many towns on the Friday or Saturday before Easter and sometimes on Easter Sunday. Many churches have special statues of the Virgin and Jesus that play a big part in the processions. The statues may be paraded through the city or displayed in the main square. Parade participants are often dressed in traditional ancient costumes. Olive branches are often used instead of or along with palm fronds in the processions and to decorate churches.
While Easter mass will be held in every church in Italy, the biggest and most popular mass is held by the Pope at Saint Peter's Basilica. On Good Friday, the Pope celebrates the Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross in Rome near the Colosseum. A huge cross with burning torches lights the sky as the stations of the cross are described in several languages
Since Easter is the end of the Lent season, food plays a big part in the celebrations. Traditional Easter foods in many places include lamb or goat, artichokes, and special Easter breads that vary from region to region. Pannetone and Colomba (dove shaped) breads are often given as gifts as are hollow chocolate eggs that usually come with a surprise inside.
Easter Monday - La Pasquetta
On Easter Monday, some cities hold dances, free concerts, or unusual games often involving eggs. Easter Monday is a time to gather with friends and have fun.