Easter traditions and best things to do in Florence
On the Fourth of July, Americans light fireworks to celebrate the day of independence from Britain which dates to 1776. A Florentine tradition called Scoppio del Carro, also known as the explosion of the cart, dates to the first Crusade. It occurs every year outside of the famous Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore on Easter Sunday. This year the Scoppio del Carro will take place on April 9, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.
This ritual of vibrant colors and fireworks is practiced honoring the crusaders victory of liberating Jerusalem. The legend goes, Florentine Pazzino di Ranieri de’Pazzi was the first to climb the walls of the Holy City and place the Christian flag. Godfrey IV de Bouillon rewarded Pazzino for his victory with three pieces of stone from the Holy Sepulcher of Christ. On Easter, the Pazzi family used the stones to light a fire to symbolize rebirth. Today that tradition lives on as the Scoppio del Carro and fire has been replaced with fireworks.
Besides sparks flying, Easter in Florence encourages other to indulge in chocolate eggs from a local pasticceria, drink Vinsanto; a Tuscan sweet wine, and eat traditional cake called Colomba. This dove shaped cake is filled with candied fruit and covered with almonds and icing, a delicious treat for all ages.
Easter isn’t exclusive to Sunday; Easter Monday is a day Italians dedicate to spend with family and friends, enjoying the city and the Tuscan region. For those who stay in the Florence area, museums and exhibitions are a great way to spend the day. Another option is bringing a blanket, some delicious snacks, and good company to soak in the outdoors in some of the city’s best gardens and parks. Day trips are another great way to enjoy Easter Monday, but regardless Florence offers endless options for a memorable celebration.