Top Things to Do in Rome this EasterMarch 31, 2015 11:04 am
Visiting Rome at Easter is one of the best times to go to the Eternal City; not only because the weather is usually at its most pleasant with warmer days, longer evenings and lots of sun, but the city is awash with festive cheer for Easter. The city’s events centre around this religious celebration and Italy makes a week of it; from over-the-top flower displays, to emotional masses here’s a list of top things to do in Rome for the first weekend of April.
Procession at the Coliseum
If you’re in Rome for Good Friday make sure you head down to the Coliseum from 9.15pm. This is where it all kicks off! An unbeatable venue, the iconic Coliseum plays host to Pope Francis who will lead the Stations of the Cross, which involves burning huge torches, a crucifix whilst reading blessings. It’s one of Rome’s most important annual events and has been practiced since 1774 to honour the martyrs who were killed in ancient times. It’s a truly moving sight and one well worth a watch.
Easter Mass at St Peter’s Basilica
The Vatican City holds a series of masses from Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday, but if you can’t make the week before hold out for April 5th for Easter Sunday Mass. A hugely popular and ticketed event it’s free but you need to pre-book in advance. The whole of St Peter’s Square is filled with chairs and screens to broadcast this iconic mass to the masses. If you’re not involved, we recommend you avoid the area as it will be very busy with people heading to the event which will kick off at 10.15am and you won’t be able to see much else!
Pasquetta, meaning Little Easter, is a celebrated holiday on Easter Monday, or in Italian, Lunedi dell’Angelo. It’s a day when everyone has a feast, or usually a picnic, and heads out to the countryside or seaside to celebrate with their families. If you fancy doing the same, Ostia is just a train ride away from Piramide, where you can walk along Rome’s most popular beach; or the archeological site of Ostia Antica, included in the Roma Pass, is a great place to go for the ancient ruins that date back to 3rd century BC. Take a picnic with you and any leftover Easter eggs for a spontaneous hunt!
Fireworks at Castel Sant’Angelo
On Pasquetta, Easter Monday, you can also enjoy a magnificent and explosive display of fireworks at the iconic Castel Sant’Angelo on the banks of the River Tiber. Not many attractions in Rome have such an impressive and jaw-dropping background, with the dome of St Peter’s Basilica one side and the ancient bridge and city’s main river to another. This mausoleum to Emperor Hadrian was built in 136 AD and is one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks. Enjoy a stunning display of fireworks to culminate the Holy Week – but check with your concierge for the exact start time.
Rome comes alive with vibrant blooms in the spring; the parks are visited by picnickers and roller-bladers and before the heavy heat descends in the summer it’s wonderful season to be outside and enjoy everything the city has to offer. If you’re not too fussed about the religious side of the Easter period, it’s still a great time to visit Rome. The Spanish Steps are decorated by hundreds of lilies and rhododendrons (the big pink ones!) which makes for a beautiful selfie shot. If you’re staying a bit longer, make sure you visit Rome’s Rose Garden on the Aventine Hill, near Circus Maximus, which contains over 1100 varieties of roses from all around the world opening on the 21st April.
Complement your visit to Rome with an OMNIA Vatican & Rome Pass – the all-inclusive sightseeing city pass including free, fast track and discounted entry into the top attractions, saving you time and money. Plus the Rome Pass covers all your transport needs with a three day travelcard and guidebook .