Spend Easter in the Livorno Sunshine, with whoever you please
There is an Italian expression which says “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi”, meaning ‘spend Christmas with your relatives, and Easter with whoever you please’. In fact it is quite traditional for Italians to go away for the Easter holidays, perhaps to the mountains if there is still some snow for skiing, or to an agriturismo in the country. Even if they stay at home, Easter Monday is traditionally a day when Italians get together with their friends for a ‘scampagnata’, a day out in the country with a picnic, weather permitting.
Easter is perhaps the most important holiday in the Catholic calendar, and many locals go to mass on Easter Sunday.
In Livorno, if the weather is favourable, Easter is also a good opportunity to soak up some early sunshine, and the rocks and coves to the south of Livorno will be scattered with eager sunbathers.
Colomba Cake and Easter Eggs
Easter eggs are popular and these days highly commercial, but they come beautifully wrapped in coloured paper and containing an obligatory ‘sorpresa’ or gift. The traditional Colomba Easter cake is made in the shape of a dove (colomba). It is a vanilla-flavoured soft cake with almonds and sugar on the top, available in lots of different variations. The local bakers’ homemade ones are the best.
Livornese-style Easter Schiacciata - a local speciality
Livorno has its own traditional Easter cake called Schiacciata di Pasqua, flavoured with orange and aniseed.
Easter Sunday and Monday are holidays in Italy, while Good Friday is a normal working day.