Easter in Rome

Easter in Rome is a truly unique and magical experience, blending centuries-old traditions with modern celebrations. As the heart of the Catholic Church, Rome is a popular destination for Easter pilgrims. Still, even non-religious visitors will find plenty to see and do during this festive season. This article will explore the history, customs, and events that make Easter in Rome such a special occasion.

History of Easter in Rome Easter has been celebrated in Rome since the earliest days of Christianity, and the city is home to many historic churches and monuments associated with the holiday. The most famous is St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, where the Pope leads Easter Mass and delivers his Urbi et Orbi blessing. The Sistine Chapel, located within the Vatican Museums, is also a popular destination for Easter visitors, as it features some of the world’s most famous religious art, including Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgment” and “The Creation of Adam.”

Customs and Traditions Easter in Rome is steeped in customs and traditions that have been passed down through the generations. One of the most popular customs is the Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross, which takes place on Good Friday.

Via Crucis

The Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross, is a solemn and symbolic procession that takes place on Good Friday in Rome and in many other Christian communities around the world. The procession follows the path that Jesus Christ is believed to have taken on the way to his crucifixion and death. The procession typically involves a series of 14 stops, or “stations,” where pilgrims pause to reflect on the events that led up to the crucifixion and death of Jesus.

The Via Crucis has its roots in the medieval period when it became popular to make pilgrimages to the Holy Land to visit the sites associated with the life of Jesus. As travel to the Holy Land became more difficult and dangerous, the practice of following the Via Crucis emerged as a way for people to participate in a symbolic journey that recreated the experience of the original pilgrimage.

In Rome, the Via Crucis procession begins at the Colosseum and ends at the Palatine Hill, near the Arch of Constantine. The route takes pilgrims through some of Rome’s most historic and beautiful neighborhoods, including the Forum Romanum and the Via dei Fori Imperiali. The procession is led by the Pope, who carries a wooden cross and stops at each station to offer prayers and reflections on the events of the Passion.

The stations of the Via Crucis vary depending on the tradition and the location, but they typically include the following:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus carries his cross
  3. Jesus falls for the first time
  4. Jesus meets his mother, Mary
  5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls for the second time
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls for the third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
  14. Jesus is placed in the tomb

The Via Crucis is a powerful and moving experience and a testament to the enduring faith and devotion of Christian pilgrims. For many people, participating in the Via Crucis is a deeply spiritual and meaningful way to connect with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and to honor his sacrifice.

a painting of st. peters square in rome

Other interesting things about Rome during Easter.

Easter Food No Roman holiday would be complete without delicious food, and Easter is no exception. One of the most popular Easter dishes in Rome is Abbacchio alla Romana, or Roman-style lamb, which is typically roasted with garlic, rosemary, and potatoes. Another traditional Easter treat is Colomba di Pasqua, a sweet bread shaped like a dove and topped with almonds and sugar. This is often served alongside other sweet treats, such as marzipan fruits and chocolate Easter eggs.

One of the most spectacular events of the Easter season is the illumination of the Colosseum. Every year, the iconic monument is lit up in different colors, creating a stunning visual display that can be seen from all over the city. This is a great opportunity for visitors to capture some unforgettable photos and experience the magic of Easter in Rome.

Easter markets in Rome.

Would you like to enjoy a traditional Easter market in Rome? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a fantastic Easter market at Piazza Navona? It would have been nice, but Rome does not have a fantastic Easter market. If you want to experience a nice Easter market, you should probably visit Prague or Vienna instead. It might not be a coincidence considering that Rome doesn’t really have fantastic Christmas markets either.

Easter in Rome.

Easter in Rome is an unforgettable experience, blending ancient traditions with modern celebrations to create a unique and magical atmosphere. Whether you’re a religious pilgrim or a curious tourist, there’s something for everyone during this festive season. From the solemn Via Crucis to the delicious Abbacchio alla Romana and the sweet Colomba di Pasqua, Easter in Rome is a feast for the senses that you won’t want to miss.

What is Spelacchio, and what has it got to do with Christmas in Rome?

Have you heard the word Spelacchio? Did it has to do with Christmas and Rome and a Christmas tree located at Piazza Venezia? Well, that might be right. But, what is really Spealacchio? Why has it got its very own Twitter account with more than 8000 followers?

So, the story behind Spelacchio is really the story behind the very special Christmas tree that came to Rome in 2017. The local government paid more than 55,000 USD for the tree. One would expect such an expensive Christmas tree to look nice, but instead, it looked terrible. People called it Spelacchio, an Italian word that means “balding” and “mangy“.

So, in the word balding we understand that it is losing its hair, or maybe its fur. The word mangy comes from the word mange, which according to dictionary.com has to do with “any of various skin diseases caused by parasitic mites, affecting animals and sometimes humans and characterized by loss of hair and scabby eruptions.”

As a result, we have a Christmas tree that has been compared to a man losing his hair, or to a person suffering from a skin disease making him lose his hair and get scabby eruptions. Can you imagine what the Christmas tree might have been like?

So, what did the Christmas tree actually look like?

The famous Spelacchio tree from 2017, looked something like this.

The Christmas tree at Piazza Venezia in Rome in 2017 (Spelacchio)
The Christmas tree at Piazza Venezia in Rome in 2017 (Spelacchio)

As you can see from the picture, this isn’t the nicest Christmas tree the world has ever seen. But, because of all the fuzz, it might actually be one of the world’s most famous Christmas trees at the moment.

The tree has gotten a lot of tweets about it, and many people say it looks like a tree your neighbor threw out a couple of weeks ago because it was so ugly. Well, most people tend to agree about it!

Spelacchio or Spezzacchio in Rome

The local government couldn’t explain what had happened to the Christmas tree in 2017, but they said that they would investigate the case.

What happened to Spelacchio in 2018?

One would believe that they wouldn’t make a mistake in 2018 as well. But, that isn’t entirely true. In 2018, they managed to call the tree Spezzacchio, due to the tree being “broken” or “split.” This was due to a special technique they used to make the tree stand like they wanted to. But, in the end, the Christmas tree at Piazza Venezia looked normal in 2018, just like you can see at the image beneath.

The Piazza Venezia Christmas tree in 2018 – Source: Twitter

So, this is the background and the story behind the Spezzacchio and the Spelacchio in Rome.

We hope you have learned something reading this article. If you want to know more about Rome, about celebrating Christmas in Rome or maybe about the Christmas markets in Rome, look around here in our Rome Guide.

Would you like to have a driver waiting for you at the airport upon arrival in Rome? Check our site where you can book private airport transfers in Rome!

Have a nice day and we wish you a pleasant stay in Rome!

Is Rome a dirty city?

Have you heard rumors about Rome being a dirty city? Are you just curious before arrival in order to set your expectations right? So, what is the truth? Is Rome a dirty city giving you streets packed with litter, or will this be a city to remember, not only because of its history and amazing buildings but also because of its clean streets?

If you do a quick search on Google or in Bing (or use Ecosia to plant some trees while surfing) to find out whether or not Rome is a dirty city, you will find all sorts of answers. But, to be honest, the majority of search results will conclude with the fact that Rome is a dirty city. How come? It is pure logic. How many people search the Internet for information about whether or not Rome is a clean city? Not many! So, when they search for information related to whether it is a dirty city or not, they will find search results from articles and forum posts in which they focus on the fact that Rome is a dirty city. So, there is a negative curve, showing negative results, based on a negative search inquiry. But, if so many people have written and complained about graffiti everywhere, dog poop on the street, and litter here and there… hasn’t there got to be some truth to it?

Is Rome really a dirty city?
A picture of Rome – including waste and graffiti

What is the truth about Rome?

When you speak with people who have been to Rome, you will often hear two widely different opinions. One will say that it was beautiful from start till end, while the other person found it to be amazing, just awful because of the waste, dog-poop, and cigarette waste. It is hard to find the truth in this, but there are some realities you better be aware of before your arrival in Rome.

There is a lot of graffiti in Rome

Many people will leave Rome without really thinking about this. But, if you first open your eyes looking for graffiti, you will for sure find it. You can see it on the metro stations and on the metro wagons, on buildings, on doors, and mostly everywhere. Of course, the old historical buildings are protected from this, but the buildings that nobody really cares about, they are often suffering.

A graffiti metro in Rome
Source: Shutterstock

What is the conclusion then? If you look for it, you will for sure find it. And if you let it disturb you, it can mostly take the joy away from your day. There is little that you can do about this, so the best thing you do is simply to forget about it. Truth be told, most tourists don’t even notice the graffiti… they are to busy taking pictures and having a good time. It isn’t your fault if you notice details and graffiti, but you are better off if you forget about it.

The buildings of Rome

The beautiful buildings of Rome remain beautiful and intact. They are not disturbed by graffiti, but they can suffer from pollution coming from a big number of cars. The city has a population of around 2,8 million people, and there are hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting the city every single day. Just considering the fact that all of these are in need of traveling from the airport to their hotel (and back), from the train station to their hotel, or the fact that they all arrive with a car in some way makes up a big amount of traffic.

However, there is constant work taking place to keep the buildings nice. So, you will once again see a combination of polluted (black) buildings with newly renovated buildings shining in their former glory.

Litter on the streets (dog-poop, cigarettes)

Maybe it doesn’t disturb you much if there is graffiti on a wall. But, if you keep getting dog-poop under your shoe, that can be very annoying. If you don’t notice, you might think Rome smells bad, only to discover later that your shoe was to blame.

As you walk the main streets of Rome, the tourist area, you do not normally bump into lots of dog-poop. But, if you start walking in areas mostly used by the local population and those walking their dogs along the river, you might have to look more downwards than upwards.

The same can be said when it comes to litter. During larger events, a lot of litter is thrown to the streets of Rome, but the city center is quite quickly cleaned up, making it look nice for the locals and for the tourists visiting the city. You might return home being incredibly happy about the look of the city, but if you are unlucky, you might visit Rome on a day when the garbage cans are full, and the litter is floating on the street next to the garbage cans.

Rome is beautiful, but is it dirty?

So, is Rome a dirty city or not?

Many people say that women see a black spot on a white wall, while the men see a white wall with a black spot on it (if they see the spot at all). Well, when it comes to Rome, the best is to be like a man and see the beauties, and not always those dirty details. If you are lucky, they might not even be there, but they do exist, and many people do notice them.

Rome is a fairly dirty city, but at the same time, it isn’t worse than other cities you will visit around in Europe. We have recently written a similar article about Prague, so if you want to know more about whether or not Prague is a dirty city, click the link!

Have you been to Rome yourself? Did you find Rome to be a dirty city or a clean city? We would love to hear your thoughts!