Easter is always peak time for tourists in Rome. And the fact that this year it will be at the end of April, with presumably warm and long days, will further increase visits here. And British Airways data confirm it, showing that Rome is the preferred destination of its clients for this Easter, ahead of Barcelona and Venice. Furthermore, a week after Easter the beatification of Pope John Paul II will take place. The second half of April is definetely going to be a very hectic time down here.
So let’s have a look to the best events in town. What is there to do besides hitting the landmarks and following the beaten track (by the way, all public museums will be open on Easter Sunday and on Monday the 25th, Vatican excluded)?
We can’t help starting from the typical Easter events to describe the atmosphere in the world’s Catholic capital. The tradition of Easter eggs is a key element of this part of the year and an interesting display of painted eggs is on show at Museo Canonica, in Villa Borghese: beautifully decorated Romanian eggs. There is also a video explaining how they paint them. Until April 26.
You can also see nine little precious Easter eggs by Fabergè in the Vatican Gallery – part of the Vatican Museums. From April 15 you can admire 140 works by the Czars’ jewelmaker. Besides eggs, there also Russian icons, frames and gold jewels from the 19th century.
A major feature of Rome’s 2011 Lent is the gigantic Stations of the Cross in via della Conciliazione, the main road leading to St. Peter’s. 49 bronze statues and 11 crosses (more than 2 meters tall) in 14 scenes will really impress you especially if you see them at night, when there is no traffic and the lights confer them a special aura. It will give you the shivers! Until April 29.
This Lent will also see the third edition of the International Art Festival of Spirituality “Divinamente” from April 16 to the 25th. This year’s main topic is the fear of God. On April 20 at 7pm Gregorian Chants at the Angelica Library and Renaissance Music at the State Legal Advisory Office will please your ears. On April 21 Rome’s Great Synagogue will open the doors for its choir performance at 8:45pm. Spiritual songs will be on show for Easter at 4pm in the basilica of S.Maria in Trastevere while on Monday the 25th Voices of Southern Africa will perform in Villa Piccolomini at 11am. Complete program and description of the locations here. All the events listed in this article are free.
The “Festival di Pasqua” key shows will be on April 19 – at 8:30 pm – with the performance of the Venezuelan orchestra “Rafael Urdaneda” in S. Andrea della Valle and on the 20th with Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem in S.Ignazio di Loyola. Free admission to both events.
Rome’s Symphonic Orchestra will play Haydn for its two Easter concerts on April 21 and 22 in the Auditorium – Conciliazione. While Mozart and Liszt will feature in the Easter and April 25 concerts for the Nations Music Festival in piazza Campitelli 9.
Rock fans should consider the Rockabilly Festival at Micca Club on Saturday and Sunday. there will be many bands and live & DJ set performing this kind of wild rock plus a chopper and car exposition and stands with Rockabilly vinyls, t-shirts and clothes. For those who love Rockabilly haircuts there will also be a 1950s hairstylist! To eat: grill and beer.
If you are keener on Jazz music and feel like going out of Rome for some countryside relaxing moments, you can’t miss the Ronciglione Jazz Festival from April 22 to the 25th, with Italy’s jazz talent Francesco Cafiso. See previous story.