Easter in Rome: What to Do, Eat and See

Lots of events happen at St. Peter's Basilica over Easter

One place to be over Easter in Rome (if you can handle the crowds): the Vatican

Spending Easter in Rome? You’re in for a treat! Tons of events kick off this week, starting on Good Friday. But some places will be closed. Here’s everything you need to know for celebrating Easter in Rome!

Sightseeing During Easter in Rome

Here, you’re in luck: All public museums will be open on Easter Sunday and Monday. That does not include the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel, however, which will be closed on both days.

Easter Events in Rome and at the Vatican

The Pope at the Stations of the Cross over Easter

The Pope at Good Friday’s Stations of the Cross

There are lots of chances to celebrate your faith—or to simply be able to say you saw the Pope in Rome—this weekend!

On Good Friday, there’s a Mass with the Pope at St. Peter’s Basilica at 5pm. The “Way of the Cross,” or Via Crucis, starts at the Colosseum at 9:15pm. Even if you’re not religious, this is fun to see: The Pope presides over the candlelit procession, which makes its way up the Palatine hill, stopping 14 times along the way to recall Christ’s journey to the cross.

On Holy Saturday, there’s an Easter Vigil at St. Peter’s Basilica at 9pm. And on Easter Sunday, the Pope appears on St. Peter’s Square at 10:15am to lead a Holy Mass; he’ll also lead the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing from the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica at noon.

If you want to celebrate Easter with an English service, you have lots of options, including at Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, and Anglican churches. Here’s a roundup of Easter services happening in English this weekend.

Easter Dining in Rome

Carciofi alla romana per Pasqua

Artichokes, a traditional Roman dish on Easter

Lots of Rome restaurants will be closed on Easter Sunday and Monday in Rome, so if you haven’t already booked a table, do so now! Two of our favorite restaurants will be open: Flavio Velavevodetto, an excellent restaurant for cucina romana done Slow Food style (+39 065744194), and La Campana, a restaurant a stone’s throw from Piazza Navona that just may be the oldest restaurant in Rome (+39 066875273). For more, check out Katie Parla’s post on restaurants open over Easter in Rome.

And when in Rome… eat like Romans do! On Easter Sunday, forget the cornetti: This is the one time of year that Romans go for a big ol’ breakfast with eggs, hams and and salami. They finish off with torta di Pasqua, an Easter cheese bread (baked using pecorino romano, of course). Chocolate eggs are usually opened next.

Colomba di Pasquale, a traditional Italian Easter cake

Colomba Pasquale, a traditional Easter cake in Italy

After breakfast comes… lunch! Abbacchio, or a lamb so young it hasn’t yet been weaned off of milk, and carciofi alla romana (Roman artichokes), are on the menu. After lunch, a cake that’s common is Colomba Pasquale, a cake shaped like a dove. Don’t miss our video on how to make Colomba Pasquale, below!

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5 Responses to Easter in Rome: What to Do, Eat and See

  1. BuzzInRome April 4, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    for non-religious events in Rome during the Easter holidays, you can give a look at this post: http://www.buzzinrome.com/2012/03/30/what-are-the-best-events-in-rome-for-the-holy-week-and-the-easter-holidays-heres-the-answer/dontfollow

  2. neil @ singles holidays April 5, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    I think if you could be anywhere at Easter you would want to be in Rome. That easter cheese bread looks rather interesting, make me want to try some

    • Gabi April 6, 2012 at 2:13 am #

      Actually the photo is of a sweet cake called Colomba pasquale (Easter dove, not “di Pasquale”, lol) which is actually very dry and uninspiring. The one with pecorino in it is round and quite tall, like a big muffin and it’s not as good as it sounds.
      – a Roman.

      • walksofitaly April 6, 2012 at 10:56 am #

        Oops Gabi, that was our typo (putting the “di” in by accident in the caption!). We’ve corrected it. Thanks for your comment!

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  1. Easter in Italy: 5 Things You Have to Know - February 25, 2013

    [...] more on Easter in Italy, don’t miss our post on celebrating Easter in Rome, which we’ll update with 2013 information as we get [...]

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