Easter Northern Italy: rites and traditions of the holy week

We are in full Lent, the liturgical period during which the faithful approach one of the most important solemnities of the year, namely, Holy Easter. During Easter Northern Italy forty days everything is already setting in motion to prepare solemn rites according to the most ancient popular traditions.

Fonte: Rete Italiana di Cultura Popolare

Easter in Northern Italy is very much felt, especially in some cities where preparations for the most significant religious rites are already in full swing, as well as those related to the culinary art dedicated to this festival. From Liguria to Piedmont, from Val D’Aosta to Veneto, let’s find out how we are preparing to spend Easter 2022.

Easter Northern Italy: rites and traditions in Piedmont, Lombardy and Liguria

Here are some of the most interesting and significant Easter rites of the Regions of Northern Italy, handed down over the years and recalled by the people during Holy Week, especially on Thursday and Friday before Easter.

Easter in Piedmont

Since 1833 in Vercelli every year on Good Friday the Procession of the machines takes place, represented by eight sculptural groups that are carried along the streets of the historic center.

The city represents the gateway to Monferrato, which with its historic center, the Cathedral, the Basilica of Sant’Andrea and the Visconteo Castle, remains a place full of charm. To it is added the Civic Archaeological Museum which tells the story from the Middle Ages to today.

Fonte: Vercelli – italiani

For the Piedmontese, on Easter day, the vitello tonnato and agnolotti del Plin cannot be missing on the tables, two exquisite and well-known recipes. The first consists of thin slices of meat accompanied by a sauce of tuna, capers and anchovies. The second is a pasta filled with roast and cooked in broth, which is served wrapped in a napkin.

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Easter in Lombardy

In this Region there are various places where Easter is preceded by meticulously prepared processions and ceremonials. In the province of Bergamo and precisely in Vertova, on Good Friday Jews and Roman soldiers parade through the streets to accompany Christ personified by a faithful.ei e soldati romani per le vie ad accompagnano Cristo impersonato da un fedele. In Mantua, on the other hand, the opening ceremony and the display of the vessels containing the Blood of Jesus are being prepared. In this beautiful city built around three lakes, you can enjoy an extraordinary panorama from the Ponte di San Giorgio.


On Easter Sunday it is a must for the Lombards to taste the savory pie and the famous colomba, with a soft dough enriched with candied fruit.

Fonte: Ricetta Sprint

Easter in Liguria

An important Easter ritual in Liguria is the one that takes place on the Friday before Easter in Savona, but only in even years and during which fifteen splendid wooden groups that precede the Ark of the Holy Cross are carried in procession.

Fonte: La mia Liguria

What was once called the City of Popes is certainly another destination to visit to admire the historical beauties, walking through the city streets. For the inhabitants of this region, on Easter day you cannot miss the Easter cake made with puff pastry and stuffed with vegetables, ricotta, parmesan and pecorino.

Fonte: Giallo Zafferano

Easter in Emilia Romagna

In the province of Modena, the most important religious-popular event in the region is held every three years, the living Via Crucis of Frassinoro, but it is also worth mentioning an old tradition called the Ponta and Cull of Fiorenzuola d’Adda.

Fonte: Touring Club Italia

It is a game that takes place on festive Sundays, where you compete with hard-boiled eggs to try to win the prize up for grabs. But immediately after, the excellent green lasagna Bolognese awaits the Emilians, as well as a tasty lamb with peas and bacon.

Fonte: Latte Giglio

Easter Northern Italy in Veneto, Friuli and Trentino

Moving to the west side of Northern Italy, we see the best Easter traditions of the three regions that have so much to offer to winter sports lovers, as well as breathtaking natural landscapes.

In Veneto there is a very particular secular Easter tradition called the Crucifix of the Convent of San Francesco della Vigna, which is held in Venice. During the week, Christ’s passion on the cross is relived here, recalling his last cries of pain through a particular mechanism. In the lagoon city, a romantic gondola ride through the historic and fascinating Canals certainly cannot be missed.

Fonte: Patriarcato Venezia

On Venetian tables there is the pasqualina salad made with hard-boiled eggs and the exquisite donut with grappa, one of the liqueurs for which the Region is famous.

Fonte: Giallo Zafferano

Also, in Friuli Venezia Giulia Easter is celebrated with the traditional Via Crucis, but the launch of the cidulos between Sunday night and Easter Monday is very significant.

Fonte: Vino e vacanze

Also, in Friuli Venezia Giulia Easter is celebrated with the traditional Via Crucis, but the launch of the cidulos between Sunday night and Easter Monday is very significant.

Spalla di maiale affumicata al tè nero
Fonte: Tea Sul Blog

And we conclude with Trentino Alto Adige where Holy Thursday is dedicated to the decoration of eggs, while on Saturday people go to church to bless the Easter basket.

But what could be better than taking advantage of the feast day to taste the dumplings, the strudel and the sweet rose cake? And then a nice walk in the mountains to admire the innumerable natural beauties of the place.

Cover Image: Touch

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