IN PICTURES: Easter celebrations and festivals across Italy

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IN PICTURES: Easter celebrations and festivals across Italy
An Easter procession in Lazio. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The Easter weekend saw a variety of celebrations take place all around Italy, from religious festivals to curious rural traditions. Here's a look at some of the most spectacular.


There's no doubt that religious celebrations represent a big chapter of the Italian ‘book of traditions', and Easter is one of the best times of the year to enjoy Catholic festivities.

Many events are based on faith or local legends and are passed on from generation to generation. Participation in annual celebrations helps build a sense of belonging in Italy, with younger people continuing the traditions their parents and grandparents taught them.

In some parts of the country, the festivities continued into Tuesday, which in Italy is known as 'In Albis' or 'in white'. The Tuesday after Easter is a holiday in the four provinces of Bellona and Casale di Carinola in Campania, Paganica in Abruzzo and Laterza in Puglia, with fireworks shows in the evening.

So from the North to the South, from the West to the East, here's a look at how Easter was marked across Italy this year.


At a Good Friday procession in Civitavecchia near Rome, penitents wear white hoods and carry crosses as they walk across town. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

In Rome, the Pope led the famous ‘Via Crucis’ or 'Way of the Cross', with a large burning crucifix carried across the Italian capital. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Pope Francis walks past a flower-adorned altar to give the Easter Sunday mass. Photo: AFP

Tens of thousands of tourists descended on the capital for the highlight of the Catholic calendar. Pictured are the croweds present at the Sunday mass. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP



Le celebrazioni e i canti del Venerdì Santo.

Un post condiviso da Dario (@dariodeseppo) in data: 15 Apr 2017 alle ore 05:35 PDT


One of Liguria's most eclectic rituals took place in a little town called Ceriana, with typical music played on wooden horns.


Un post condiviso da Franco Stella (@balena43) in data: 13 Apr 2017 alle ore 07:32 PDT


Florence's unique tradition of the 'Colombina', or 'little dove', in Italian: in the central square of Piazza del Duomo, a fake dove is shot from a tower pulled by the oxen.  Photo: Tiziana Fabi /AFP

This ancient ritual is viewed by Florentines as proof of a lucky year to come. Photo: Tiziana Fabi /AFP  




Un post condiviso da Otello Durante (@fotodigitale_otellodurante) in data: 16 Apr 2017 alle ore 15:44 PDT

This procession lasted for almost forty hours!


Un post condiviso da Otello Durante (@fotodigitale_otellodurante) in data: 14 Apr 2017 alle ore 12:24 PDT



A post shared by Emanuele Rotundo (@emanuelerotundo) on Apr 17, 2017 at 2:12am PDT

Bloodstains on a church in Nocera Terinese are a sign of one of Italy's most violent Easter traditions. People play the part of the flagellants, whipping themselves until they bleed as a way of remembering Jesus's suffering.



A post shared by Irene Campus (@iraina12) on Apr 15, 2017 at 2:00am PDT

In the city of Iglesias, participants in an Easter procession wear white hoods to represent penitents, a custom borrowed from Spanish culture which is closely intertwined with that of Sardinia. 


A post shared by Irene Campus (@iraina12) on Apr 15, 2017 at 2:04am PDT


Another of the city's several processions represents Christ's funerals, with those attending dressed in mourning clothes.

With reporting by Caterina Zita




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