EASTER IN ROME
In Rome and especially Vatican City there are a series of solemn events that culminate in Easter Sunday Mass. During the spring holy days that center around the vernal equinox there are also many other rites practiced throughout the country that have their roots in historic pagan rituals.
In addition, the Monday following Easter is an official Italian holiday called "Pasquetta".
The dove is the universal symbol of the Easter festivities; in addition to appearing at center stage at many of the folkloristic events, it also takes the shape of a traditional cake, the "Colomba", competing with the secular chocolate eggs as the official food of the season.
April 2nd, 2010: Good Friday
The highlight of the week is the spectacular via Crucis procession on Good Friday. It begins at the Colosseum, led by Pope Benedict XVI bearing a wooden cross, and ends at the top of the Palatine Hill. Thousands light his way with torches. .
April 4th, 2010: Easter Sunday
An outdoor mass takes place Easter morning in St. Peter's Square. Urbi er Orbi message and blessing by Pope Benedict XVI in Saint Peter's Square at noon.
April 05th, 2010: Easter Monday - Pasquetta ("Little Easter")
Many Romans head for the country, with friends or family. Traditionally, people head for the countryside around Rome for large picnics. The sound-and-light show begun a few years back at Castel Sant'Angelo may very likely be conducted again.