Easter in Rome: What to Do, Eat and See

The Pope at the Stations of the Cross over Easter
The Pope at Good Friday's Stations of the Cross in Rome

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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