Easter is on the horizon and there are plenty of ways for travellers to celebrate across Europe, where a range of cultures commemorate the season through their own long-standing customs.
Many parades can be expected across the continent. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the delights of Paques in France, or Italy’s La Pasqua, every country marks the holiday in their own unique style.
With this in mind, Easter is a fantastic time to go travelling. As the spring season begins, tourists can look forward to some beautifully warm weather and sunshine to add to the magical Easter atmosphere.
Here are just some of the best places to visit:
1. Rome, Italy
Rome is a beautiful destination no matter what the time of year is, but Easter really sees the city come to life.
Throughout Easter week, there are a number of great events for travellers to take part in. These all start with Holy Thursday, where the blessing of the holy oils takes place in Saint Peter’s Basilica in a mass presided over by the Pope, before he leads the stations of the cross near the Colosseum to mark the fourteen stages of Christ’s passion. Saturday also sees the Pope welcome new adult converts to the church in a vigil at the same venue.
On Easter Sunday, mass is celebrated in the morning in Saint Peter’s Square, which provides a true carnival atmosphere as the Pope delivers the ceremony to an adulated crowd.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to see the undeniable passion of Italy’s Catholic culture. There are plenty of wonderful restaurants to look forward to as well, including the delightful PanDivino, where guests can sample a variety of mouth-watering Italian dishes.
2. Madrid, Spain
Madrid has an incredible array of attractions for tourists to explore during Easter. In 2016, visitors can look forward to the Cristo de Medinaceli parade, which runs through the city’s main streets from Jesus de Medinaceli parish on Good Friday.
Even if you are not religious, the sheer emotion on display at the parade creates an unbelievable atmosphere that has to be seen to be believed with colourful decorations adorning the streets.
Away from the traditional Easter celebrations, Spain’s restaurants really embrace the holiday with some delightful meals. Torrijas is one of the most popular dishes. Soaked in milk, sugar and egg and fried in olive oil, the bread is available in a number of varieties, including ingredients such as wine, syrup and honey.
3. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is growing into one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations for many reasons: the great food, extraordinary architecture and amazing weather among several other factors, and Easter is one of the best times of year to see the city at its liveliest.
A captivating procession takes place on Good Friday and visitors can explore the excellent Easter Fair, where there is an assortment of traditional decorations, seasonal gifts and food. At the event, travellers can purchase intricately decorated eggs that are a fantastic souvenir to take back home.
As well as this, Dubrovnik is full of outstanding restaurants, making it a great destination for a wonderful Easter meal. Proto is one of the top eateries, offering delicious seafood in truly picturesque surroundings, with majestic views of the city.