The most awaited event of Easter in Florence is undoubtedly the impressive “Explosion of the Cart” which takes place on Easter Sunday starting at about 10am in Piazza del Duomo, near the cathedral. A tradition born over 300 years ago. This cart is called the “Brindellone”, and stands over 9 meters tall on wheels which is then pulled by a pair of white oxen from the nearby town of Prato. Around 11am, as part of the Easter Mass being celebrated in the Cathedral, the Archbishop of Florence at the altar lights the “Colombina”, a rocket shaped like a dove which symbolizes the Holy Spirit. This rocket is attached to the cart by a cable and when it hits it, the fireworks mounted on top are set off – a spectacular display not to be missed
If you are planning to spend just a couple of days in Florence, you likely will not want to lose the opportunity to see and enjoy its artistic beauty. Usually on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, the most popular museums in Florence remain open to the public (museums such as the Uffizi and Accademia Gallery are generally closed on Monday so they will have special openings).
Those who prefer to enjoy Florence beyond the museums and their exhibitions will likely opt to spend more time outdoors. In this case, we highly recommend enjoying walks under the early Spring sun in Fiesole, Settignano or the surrounding hills of Florence where you can enjoy great views over the city. We highly recommend visiting one of the many beautiful gardens and monumental parks in the city, the most famous being the Boboli Gardens and Gardens of Villa Bardini where you can admire the panoramic view from the Rose Garden located just below Piazzale Michelangelo or enjoy a relaxing picnic in the Garden of Horticulture near Piazza della Libertà..
Enjoy a day trip outside of the city either to the wine region of Chianti or perhaps a visit to the seaside, to Versilia or the Etruscan coast, It is worth visiting Siena, Lucca, Pisa and Arezzo, which are about an hour’s journey from Florence. For more tips on the most beautiful day trips to do in Tuscany from Florence, read our tips.
To really know a country or a city, you have to get in touch with its culinary traditions, Other than the foods and flavors that can be found throughout the year in Florence, there are several dishes and sweets you can find in restaurants in Tuscany only in the Easter period. For example delicious roast lamb, specially painted eggs that are normally blessed when the locals go to Easter mass and you can expect to find children taking their chocolate eggs to be blessed too. Among desserts is the Colomba, a leavened cake shaped like a dove with candied fruit inside and covered with almonds and icing.. During the period of Lent (Quaresima), pastry shops and bakeries all over Tuscany make “pan di ramerino”, a sweet bun with raisins and rosemary. And cookies called “Quaresimali”, made with cocoa and in the form of letters, probably the sweets most appreciated by children.