Bomarzo, Orvieto, Tivoli, Tarquinia and Ponza offer very valid alternatives to Rome in the next few days: these destinations organize every year traditional and peculiar events that will help you relax and enjoy in nice outdoor settings.
If you aren’t full yet with chocolate eggs, colombe etc…in Bomarzo, from April 23 to April 25 there is a cookie fair (see picture of the local typical cake, which looks like a doughnut more than a cookie, here) with a horse race, the Palio di Sant’Anselmo, occurring on Monday. Once you’re there, please also visit Bomarzo’s Monster park, a 16th century labyrinth of symbols and frightening sculptures which is one of my favorite landmarks in the whole region of Lazio.
Very close to Bomarzo, Orvieto has organized a stamp event dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification until April 25. On show in Palazzo del Popolo the very expensive and sought-after Italian stamps from the years 1859-1861 and the shift from stamps of ten different states to just one kind of national stamp. On April 22 and 23 there will also be a stamp market in Palazzo dei Sette. Complete program (in Italian) here.
For other happenings in Orvieto, read this.
If you want to enjoy nature and the warm spring air, then a pic-nic could be a good idea. In Tivoli at Villa Gregoriana on April 25 you can both eat and relax in this historical park recently reopened to the public and buy your lunch basket on site and have a guided tour of this wonder of nature, art and archeology (not as beautiful as Tivoli’s Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este, but still worth a visit).
If you’d rather enjoy the beach and the sea breeze, you have to go to Ponza island for the Casatiello Festival. Casatiello is a sort of panettone, less sweet and taller, decorated with eggs (one of the Easter symbols) – recipe here. The casatiello tastings will be accompanied by the local “4F” wine. There will also be folk dance, music and shows with a draft whose first prize is a 10-kilogram chocolate egg!
Finally in the etruscan town of Tarquinia, probably the best place to go near Rome if you are fond of this sophisticated and elegant civilization, on Easter Sunday at 6 pm starts the procession (even if they actually call it ‘race’) of the risen Christ, preceded by wooden crosses, trunks and shots in the beautiful middle-age center of the town.
Have a break and see Central Italy’s enchanting countryside!