Easter in Rome: your essential guide
With its unique blend of celebration, solemnity and spectacle, there really is nothing quite like Easter in Rome. As we all know, this is the time of year when the eyes of the world are on the Eternal City.
Quite apart from its religious and cultural significance, Easter (or Pasqua in Italian) signifies that Spring is in full bloom. It’s the time for travellers to dust off the cobwebs, get out there and sample something special.
So what does Rome have to offer the Easter traveller? From Easter Rome accommodation deals, through to things to see and do, here’s your need-to-know guide…
Easter in Rome: is it always “fully booked”?
Think of a Roman Easter and the Pope’s traditional Urbi et Orbi address is one of the first things that springs to mind. The sheer size of the crowd is always impressive – but is this a sign that the city is going to be uncomfortably crowded at this time of year? In fact, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised.
An influx of pilgrims and other visitors means the city is bustling. But it’s worth remembering that a big chunk of those pilgrims are students – many of whom opt for ‘student-friendly’ accommodation, such as religious housing and campsites.
So if stylish, luxurious hotel accommodation is more your thing, there’s no need to pray for a miracle. As always, it’s wise to book as early as you can to avoid disappointment, but there’s a very good chance of getting a special Easter in Rome accommodation deal.
Easter weather in Rome: what to expect
Quite apart from the buzz around the Vatican, the climate happens to be one of the best things about Rome in Easter. With daytime temperatures averaging around 13 to 15°C between mid and late-April, we’re talking ideal sightseeing weather.
The fact that it’s so compact makes Rome one of those cities that’s best explored on foot. In contrast to July and August, there’s no denying that this is so much more pleasant when the heat isn’t bouncing off the stonework!
St Peter’s at Easter: how to be part of it
You’ve seen it on TV – so how do you get to be part of the Pope’s public Easter celebrations?
The key Triduum of liturgical celebrations are the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass, the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday and Easter Vigil on the Saturday – all of which are held in the Basilica. On Sunday, Mass followed by the Pope’s World Address both take place in St Peter’s Square. Tickets for all Papal ceremonies are free of charge – but are limited and need to be reserved in advance. You can put in your application online – so check out the Papal Prefecture Office for further details.
Exploring Rome at Easter: what’s on?
If you plan to browse the boutiques during your Easter long weekend, Friday or Saturday is definitely the time to do it (as Easter Monday is a public holiday). This also affects public transport – but don’t forget that guests at the A.Roma Lifestyle Hotel benefit from a shuttle bus to take them into the heart of the city.
When it comes to seeing the sights, Rome at Easter is very much still open for business. Whatever iconic attractions are on your wishlist – from the Borghese to the Colosseum – these are open throughout the weekend. In fact, the National Roman Museum which is normally closed on Mondays makes a special exception for Easter Monday.
Here’s a special tip: if you don’t make it for a St Peter’s ticket, don’t miss out on the Way of the Cross from the Colosseum to Palatine Hill on Good Friday. Led by the Pope and followed by thousands of people in a torchlit procession, you can take in the whole thing or dip in and out of it. Either way, it’s an unforgettable experience.
A.Roma Lifestyle Hotel currently has a very special deal for Easter 2017. To recharge your batteries and indulge your senses in the Eternal City with an irresistible energy and spa package, find out more and make this Easter one to remember.
Image by Jeffrey Bruno