In Italy, there are no Easter egg hunts, no marshmallow Peeps and definitely no jelly beans. Instead, there are chocolate eggs — massive, elaborately decorated, beautifully wrapped chocolate Easter eggs that fill shop windows across the country. The sweet treats are considered Italians’ food gift of choice at this time of year; each one comes with a surprise tucked inside. Each Easter, My Mama Carmela would always secure a gorgeous creme-filled chocolate treat for my siblings and I from a local confectionery shop called “The Sugar Bowl.” The flavors of the chocolatey, creamy goodness still resonates from the archives of my fond childhood memories.
Also, while Easter mass will be held in every church in Italy, the biggest and most popular mass is held by the Pope at Saint Peter’s Basilica. On Good Friday, the Pope celebrates the Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross in Rome near the Coliseum. A huge cross with burning torches lights the sky as the stations of the cross are described in several languages. At the end, the Pope gives a blessing. A blessed celebration for all.