Easter in Italy is a deeply religious event but one that is also accompanied by extremely colourful events, traditional food and often, warm sunshine. Italy specialist, ExpertoItaly, has a selection of ideas for short- breaks at several of the cities where Easter is celebrated in style.
Stay in the heart of Sorrento, home to Campania’s most impressive Easter celebrations and join the crowds observing the symbolic processions that wind through the streets of Sorrento between Maundy Thursday and dawn on Good Friday. The hugely atmospheric spectacle starts again after dark on Good Friday when a procession of hooded men continues through the silent shuttered town accompanied by a 200-strong choir singing the Miserere chant. Daylight brings with it sunshine, exquisitely decorated chocolate eggs and ‘pastiera’, a traditional Neapolitan Easter cake made with wheat, candied fruit and ricotta.
Enjoy sunny days at the Maison La Minervetta, in the centre of Sorrento, where all twelve rooms look out over the Bay of Naples. A five-night B & B stay at Easter starts at £645 per person with www.ExpertoItaly.com, tel. 020 7520 3100. Flights extra (fly to Naples with Easyjet or BA).
Top choc spot Turin
Home to Ferrero Rocher and melt-in-your mouth ‘gianduiotti’, Turin can legitimately claim to be one of Italy’s top choc hot spots. The city’s reputation as the chocolate capital of Italy dates back to its transformation of chocolate in its liquid form to the modern day solid variety and choco-mad visitors can now linger over a traditional ‘bicerin’ drink – a tall glass of espresso, chocolate and fresh cream – at one of Turin’s historic cafés or drool over the ‘gianduiotti’ at Guido Gobino’s famous shop on Via Lagrange.
Stay at the Hotel Principi di Piemonte, in a 1930′s Art Deco building built by the Agnelli family in the heart of baroque Turin.
A three-night B & B break starts at £325 per person (based on two sharing), including airport transfers with www.ExpertoItaly.com, tel. 0207 520 3100. Flights extra. Low-cost flights to Turin with Easyjet and Ryanair.
Fireworks in Florence
Stay in the very heart of Florence in a super sleek apartment in the Piazza della Repubblica, just a two minute walk away from the action on Easter Sunday morning when the Scoppio del Carro (‘Explosion of the Cart’) festival takes place in the Piazza del Duomo.
The glossy Platinhome apartments have a terrace with views of the Duomo and a telescope. Prices start at £260 per apartment per night (sleeps 2-4) including daily cleaning, with www.ExpertoItaly.com, tel. 020 7520 3100. Flights extra.
ExpertoItaly offers tailor made holidays to a selection of small independent boutique hotels and self-catering villas throughout Italy.
Further information is available from website or tel. 0207 520 3100.