How to Celebrate Easter in Florence 2024


How to Celebrate Easter in Florence 2024

Easter is the best time of the year, offering the perfect opportunity to enjoy holidays and explore new destinations.

Falling between late March and 25 April, Easter brings mild climates and sunlit days, creating an inviting atmosphere for traveling.

If you are planning for a fun place to enjoy these holidays, Florence can be an ideal getaway destination in 2024.

Easter in Florence is filled with traditions, religious processions, local customs and festivities.

In this article, you will learn everything about celebrating the Easter holidays in Florence, including must-visit places, exciting activities, things to do, and more!

You can plan your Easter holidays with this guide, from the Explosion of the Cart or ‘Scoppio del Carro’ ceremony to exploring museums like the Uffizi Gallery.

Some of the important dates to remember for celebrating Easter in Florence in 2024 are:

24 March 2024: Palm Sunday, marking the commencement of Holy Week.

28 March 2024: Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday commemorating the Last Supper.

29 March 2024:  Good Friday, commemorating the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

30 March 2024: Holy Saturday

31 March 2024:  Easter Sunday. The celebration of Christ’s resurrection

1 April 2024: Easter Monday

Easter Traditions in Florence: How Is Easter Celebrated?

 Easter in Florence is a celebration time when both religious and cultural traditions merge to create a memorable experience.

The city comes alive with various events and activities, which have been part of Easter traditions in Florence for a long time.

1. Explosion of the Cart or Lo Scoppio del Carro:

Date: 31 March 2024 (yearly, every Easter Sunday)

Timings: Procession starts at 10 am, Explosion at 11 am

Venue:  Piazza del Duomo (in the area between the cathedral and baptistery)

Cost: FREE

The centerpiece of Florence’s Easter traditions is “Lo Scoppio del Carro,” an age-old ritual that dates back over 350 years.

This event takes place on Easter Sunday in Florence, featuring a procession that starts at 10 am and a grand explosion at 11 am in Piazza del Duomo.

This procession involves musicians, people in traditional Florentine costumes, and two white oxen pulling the cart.

The story behind this tradition goes back to the First Crusade, more than 900 years ago.

Legend has it that a brave Florentine named Pazzino participated in the Crusade and was the first to climb the walls of Jerusalem.

As a reward, he received three flints from the Holy Sepulchre. These flints were brought back to Florence and are still used today to spark the sacred fire.

In the early 17th century, around 1622, the elaborate cart, or “Brindellone,” was built for the occasion.

This cart, reaching a height of about 9 meters, is filled with fireworks and is positioned between the Baptistery and the entrance of the Duomo.

At 11 am, a dove-shaped rocket, known as the “Colombina,” is launched from inside the cathedral.

This rocket travels along a wire, reaching the cart in the square and setting off a wonderful fireworks display.

2. Easter Egg Tradition in Florence

As in many parts of the world, the Easter egg tradition is also an integral part of the Easter celebrations in Florence.

Eggs are considered a symbol of rebirth and resurrection and have profound religious symbolism in the context of Easter.

The tradition involves the decoration of eggs, often beautifully painted or adorned with intricate designs.

Families and communities engage in the creative process of decorating and gifting eggs, especially chocolate ones.

It is a gesture to share joy and happiness with loved ones.

Children, in particular, eagerly await the moment when they receive Easter eggs filled with sweet surprises.

One notable custom is bringing boiled and often beautifully decorated eggs to the local church and having them blessed by the priest during special Easter services.

Besides this, Easter egg hunts are also arranged for children, and they are armed with baskets to find hidden eggs, whether in gardens, homes, or designated event areas. 

Things to Do For Easter in Florence

There are many activities and places to see and do during the Easter celebration in Florence, Italy. Some of the best ones include:

1. Visit Florence Cathedral and Witness the Explosion of the Cart

You can attend a mass at the Florence Cathedral to add a religious touch to your Easter celebrations.

As part of this age-old tradition known as the “Explosion of the Cart,” a special candle is lit during the Mass.

Following this, a dove-shaped rocket is launched from inside the church to a cart awaiting outside.

Upon reaching it, this cart is filled with fireworks, and the rocket sets off a stunning fireworks display.

This exciting tradition, drawing both locals and visitors, has been a part of Florence’s Easter festivities for many years.

If you find yourself in Florence during Easter, attending mass and witnessing the “Explosion of the Cart” can be a truly memorable part of your celebration.

2. Visit Top Museums in Florence 

Florence is particularly known for its unique museums.

The main museums, the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia, and Palazzo Pitti, are generally closed on Easter Sunday but open on Monday, even though it’s a public holiday.

So, Easter Monday in Florence can be a great opportunity to visit them along with your family, with potentially fewer crowds.

Among these museums, the Uffizi Gallery is a prominent and renowned art museum. It is also one of the largest and best-known in the world.

It has a stunning Renaissance art collection, including masterpieces by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli.

If you are an art enthusiast or want to enjoy a visit with your family and kids, it’s one of the best places to visit in Florence.

For a seamless experience at the place, you must consider securing your Uffizi tickets in advance.

3. Stroll Around the Boboli and Bardini Gardens

You can celebrate Easter in Florence in a special way by taking a leisurely stroll around the Boboli and Bardini Gardens.

The Bardini Garden is in full bloom in early April, with beautiful purple flowers all around.

This creates a wonderful atmosphere, providing a stunning backdrop for pictures.

Besides the beautiful flowers, you can enjoy stunning views of Florence from the highest points in the garden.

Similarly, the Boboli Gardens, located behind the Pitti Palace, are a large and historic green space.

During Easter, the gardens come to life with beautiful flowers and lush green paths, statues, and fountains.

Both gardens offer a delightful experience, making them the perfect place for family outings on Easter.

If you plan to visit them during Easter, it’s advisable to check the opening hours and arrive early to enjoy a peaceful time with fewer crowds.

You can also book a guided tour of these places to enjoy an informed visit without any rush or hassle.

4. Sail along the Arno River

The Arno River is well surrounded by iconic landmarks, bridges and attractions.

With the mild weather, Easter in Florence makes it a perfect time for a leisurely sail.

You can hop on a traditional flat-bottomed boat called a barchetto, once used by sand-makers.

The boat will pass by sites like the Uffizi Gallery and the Vasari Corridor.

As you gently float along the river, you also pass under famous bridges like Ponte Vecchio and Ponte Santa Trìnita.

5. Taste Tuscan Delights 

What could be better than indulging in the local flavors and traditional dishes of Easter in Florence?

You can taste a variety of traditional dishes in Florence.

One of the highlights is “the Colomba,” a leavened cake shaped like a dove decorated with candied fruit, covered in sugar, and sprinkled with almonds.

This cake symbolizes Easter and can be found in various versions, including those with pistachio or chocolate fillings.

In addition to sweet delights, Easter meals often involve multiple courses, such as roasted or grilled lamb, accompanied by seasonal vegetables.

As you explore the city during Easter, you can visit local bars and pastry shops to find these traditional Easter specialties.

Besides food, you can also taste traditional Tuscan wines and try the chocolate eggs that are exchanged as gifts, often containing surprises.

Want to know the best places for Easter brunch in Florence?

You can check out the list of some of the best restaurants offering delightful cuisine located near the Uffizi Gallery.

6. Discover Nightlife in Florence on Easter

As the day transitions into night, Florence comes to life, especially with the Easter decorations and festivities.

Whether you prefer a casual night out with friends or a more glamorous experience, Florence has something for everyone.

You can spend the night roaming around the city, especially along the bridges, and enjoy a romantic stroll.

If you prefer a more lively setting, you can also visit one of the trendy clubs in the city or dance the night away at a lively disco. 

Many wineries and restaurants in Florence offer wine tastings, allowing you to explore this region’s exquisite tastes.

FAQs about Easter in Florence

Is Easter a big deal in Italy?

Yes, Easter is a significant and widely celebrated holiday in Italy, with various religious and cultural traditions.

Should I go to Italy during Easter?

Easter is a great time to visit Italy, especially Florence.

Easter in Florence is celebrated through processions and traditional and cultural events. However, be prepared for larger crowds during this popular holiday.

How is Easter celebrated in Florence?

Easter in Florence is celebrated with a mix of religious and cultural traditions.

One of the notable traditions is the “Explosion of the Cart” or “Lo Scoppio del Carro,” a centuries-old ritual featuring a grand procession and fireworks display in Piazza del Duomo.

Additionally, there are Easter egg traditions, masses at prominent basilicas, and festive meals.

Is anything open in Florence on Easter?

Many places in Florence, including restaurants, museums, and attractions, are open on Easter.

However, planning and booking ahead is advisable as Easter is a busy time for tourism.

How to celebrate Easter Sunday in Florence Italy?

To celebrate Easter Sunday in Florence, you can attend Mass at the Florence Cathedral and witness the explosion of the cart.

Is Easter a good time to visit Florence?

Yes, Easter is a good time to visit Florence due to the pleasant weather, festive atmosphere, and various cultural events.

Is Italy closed on Easter weekend?

While some places might have adjusted hours, many places like the Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace and the Accademia Gallery remain closed on Sunday.

It’s recommended that opening hours for specific places be checked and planned accordingly.

Where is the best place to go in Italy for Easter?

Certainly, one of the best places to go in Italy for Easter is the Florence Cathedral, and the other is the Uffizi Gallery.

You can enjoy the Easter Mass and various other traditions at the cathedral.

At the Uffizi Gallery, you can see an exceptional collection of Renaissance art, including masterpieces by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and others.

Are restaurants closed during Easter in Italy?

Generally, restaurants in Italy remain open during Easter, offering special Easter menus.

However, making reservations in advance is advisable due to increased demand.

Is there an Easter mass in Florence, Italy?

There are Easter masses in prominent basilicas in Florence, including Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo), Santa Croce, and Santa Maria Novella.

Mass times may vary, so checking schedules in advance is advisable.

What are the Easter traditions in Florence?

Some of the key Easter traditions in Florence include the Explosion of the Cart ceremony (Lo Scoppio del Carro), Easter egg decorating and gifting, Easter Masses at historic basilicas, and enjoying traditional Tuscan foods and desserts.

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