Easter in Rome: Unveiling the Beautiful Charms of Easter in the Eternal City

February 6, 2024

Easter in Rome stands as a testament to the city’s unwavering connection to its rich history, deep-rooted traditions, and the spiritual resonance that permeates its cobblestone streets. As spring unfolds, the Eternal City undergoes a transformation, becoming a tapestry of religious fervor, vibrant festivities, and delectable culinary delights.

In this post, we delve into the myriad facets of Easter in Rome, from the sacred events on Holy Thursday thru to Easter Sunday to the enchanting day trips that beckon beyond the city’s borders such as Boat-Hopping on the Amalfi Coast to a Tuscany day trip from Rome.

Events during Easter in Rome

Pope meeting crowds

The Pope plays a key role in the events over Easter in Rome, culminating with a blessing in St Peter’s Square on Easter Sunday. Photo credit: Kai Pilger

Whether you are planning a trip to Rome especially for the Easter events or you are there to visit the Sistine Chapel or the Colosseum, you should be aware that there are some key events that take place over the Easter weekend.

  • Holy Thursday: The journey into the Holy Week commences with Holy Thursday, a day marked by profound symbolism and humility. At St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope leads a poignant Mass, reenacting the Last Supper by washing the feet of twelve priests. This powerful ceremony serves as a reminder of the core tenets of Christianity – humility, service, and love.
  • Good Friday: Good Friday in Rome is a solemn day, epitomized by the “Way of the Cross” procession at the iconic Colosseum. Led by the Pope, this emotional journey retraces the Stations of the Cross, each step echoing with the weight of Christ’s sacrifice. Against the backdrop of the ancient amphitheater, the atmosphere is one of reverence and reflection.
  • Easter Saturday: Easter Saturday witnesses the city’s spiritual zenith with the Easter Vigil at the Vatican. St. Peter’s Basilica is bathed in candlelight, and the Paschal candle, symbolizing the light of Christ, takes center stage. The vigil is a transformative experience, culminating in the baptism of catechumens and marking the beginning of a renewed spiritual journey.
  • Easter Sunday: Easter Sunday, the pinnacle of the celebrations, radiates joy across the Vatican and Rome. St. Peter’s Square becomes a sea of colors as flowers adorn the space, and the faithful gather to witness the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi blessing. It is a proclamation of hope and renewal, resonating far beyond the city walls.

What is open at Easter in Rome?

The Colosseum in Rome

Most of Rome’s iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum remain open over Easter weekend. Photo credit: David Köhler

Despite the deep religious significance of Easter, Rome maintains a semblance of normalcy during the holiday. Many essential services, including restaurants, shops, and businesses, remain open, ensuring that visitors can navigate the city comfortably.

However, it is advisable to check individual establishments for any variations in operating hours during the Easter weekend.

Rome monuments and museums open during Easter

While some museums and monuments may observe closures on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, several iconic sites usually welcome eager visitors. The Colosseum, a symbol of ancient grandeur, stands resolute, along with the adjacent Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, inviting exploration.

St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums may offer extended hours and special events, drawing pilgrims and tourists visiting for Easter in Rome into their hallowed halls.

Weather at Easter in Rome

Sunset in Rome

A trip for Easter in Rome usually means warm sunlight in daytime, but temperatures can become chilly in the evenings and at night. Photo credit: Kim Tunger

Easter in Rome unfolds against the backdrop of a burgeoning spring. The city experiences mild temperatures, typically ranging from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day.

The blossoming flowers and gentle breezes create an inviting atmosphere for outdoor exploration. As the sun sets, a light jacket may be advisable, as temperatures can cool down in the evenings.

Typical dishes at Easter in Rome

Colomba di Pasqua

Colomba di Pasqua is a typical sweet and festive cake that visitors must try if they are in Rome at Easter. Photo credit: Nicola

Easter in Rome is not only a spiritual celebration but also a time when the city’s rich culinary heritage takes center stage. The festive table is adorned with traditional dishes that reflect the season’s bounty and the deep-rooted cultural significance of Easter. Let’s take a look at some of the typical food you can try if you travel to Rome at Easter:

    • Abbacchio al Forno: Abbacchio, a succulent roast lamb, is the quintessential centerpiece of an Easter feast in Rome. The lamb is typically seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and local herbs, then slow-roasted to perfection, resulting in tender, flavorful meat.
    • Carciofi alla Romana: These are artichokes prepared in the Roman style, showcasing the city’s love for this versatile vegetable. The artichokes are cleaned, seasoned with mint, garlic, and parsley, then braised until they reach a tender and succulent consistency.
    • Pomodori con Riso: Tomatoes stuffed with rice, a simple yet flavorful dish that captures the essence of Roman home cooking. The tomatoes are hollowed out and filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes ground meat, then baked until the rice is cooked and the flavors meld together.
    • Fave e Pecorino: A dish that pairs fava beans with Pecorino cheese, a delightful combination that celebrates seasonal produce. Fava beans are blanched and combined with Pecorino cheese, olive oil, and sometimes mint, creating a refreshing and satisfying side dish.
    • Colomba di Pasqua: Meaning “Easter Dove,” it is a sweet and festive cake that marks the end of the Easter meal. Made with a soft, yeasted dough and studded with candied fruits, almonds, and sometimes chocolate, Colomba di Pasqua is baked until golden and often topped with a sugary glaze.

These culinary delights not only showcase the flavors of the season but also pay homage to the cultural and religious traditions that make Easter in Rome a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Day Trips from Rome at Easter

Tivoli gardens

There are many day trip options from Rome that you can enjoy, including the the spectacular town of Tivoli. Photo credit: Jametlene Reskp

While Easter in Rome captivates with its timeless allure, the surrounding regions offer enchanting day trip options for those seeking to broaden their exploration. The town of Tivoli, adorned with the exquisite Villa d’Este and the sprawling Hadrian’s Villa, provides a retreat into the opulence of Renaissance and ancient Roman architecture. Alternatively, a journey to Orvieto beckons, where the magnificent cathedral and charming medieval streets create a peaceful escape from the bustling city.

Easter in Rome unfolds as a grand tapestry, weaving together the threads of history, spirituality, and culinary delights. From the sacred rituals within the Vatican to the lively atmosphere in the city’s streets, each moment is a harmonious blend of tradition, reverence, and celebration. As you immerse yourself in the festivities, savor the unique charm of Easter in the Eternal City – an unforgettable celebration where time seems to stand still, and the echoes of the past resonate with the promise of a renewed future.



by Martina V.

View more by Martina ›

Follow us

Stay up to date with travel tips, local insights and all things Italy on our social channels!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get curated Italy travel tips delivered to your inbox!

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now