Italy’s Easter treats

by Rebecca Bricker on April 5, 2015


If you give up sweets for Lent, you’re in big trouble here. About a month before Easter, beautifully wrapped dove-shaped cakes and amazing chocolate eggs start popping up everywhere.


The cake – called Colomba di Pasqua (Dove of Easter) – is a traditional Easter dessert, with many variations throughout the country. It’s typically a sweet yeast bread made with eggs and candied fruit peel, similar to panettone, and topped with sugar and almonds or chocolate…

But if it’s chocolate you crave, there’s nothing quite like Italian Easter eggs. You get a sugar rush just looking at them.





They’re the size of footballs – or bigger – with toys and trinkets inside. Some are custom-made and artfully decorated, encasing luxurious trinkets like engagement rings and car keys.













I set out this week on my own egg hunt in Florence and found this “SUPER UOVO,” which was raffled off at a cafe-bar. >>>

What about real eggs, you might ask. The kind that chickens lay and that you lower into cups of artificial dye with wire holders at Easter time.

It used to be that Easter eggs in Italy were colored red (using natural food coloring) to signify the blood of Christ. I’ve read accounts of grandma getting the eggs blessed by the priest on the Saturday before Easter. During Lent, eggs were a forbidden food which made them a welcomed treat on Easter Day.

I’m told that coloring eggs is not common here anymore. So it was fun watching children at a recent Easter party hosted by the Florence Children’s Lending Library, where dying eggs (with kits from the U.S.) was a big hit.

These two Italian boys quickly adapted to this foreign custom and decided to make green dinosaur eggs…







…with green hands to match. :)










Sally McKee April 6, 2015 at 12:36 am

Buona Pasqua to you, too, Becky!

Along about this past Thursday, the happy thought hit that, come Sunday, there’d be another engaging blog post from you, and that, being Easter, it would be pretty spectacular.

It is.

Rebecca Bricker April 6, 2015 at 12:46 am

Glad you enjoyed this, Sally. I don’t think I can face chocolate again…at least not for another day or two. 😉

Jackie Lamothe April 23, 2015 at 3:28 pm

The sweet treat I long for can only be found in Messina – it’s called pignolata and my friends from Sicily used to bring it over to the states twice a year. Hopefully I’ll find some in 2016 when I visit that region. If I’m very lucky, you might meet me there.

Rebecca Bricker April 24, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Tell me when and where!

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