Easter in Abruzzo: Traditions and Flavours in a Snapshot

Easter in Abruzzo in a simple snapshot: exploring its ceremonies and processions over the revered holy weekend and recipes eaten locally to welcome spring and take on the first picnic of the year.


La Processione del Venerdi Santo, Chieti (Good Friday)

Chieti la processione del venerdi santoChieti la processione del venerdisanto


Read more – Chieti’s Good Friday’s Procession – La Processione del Venerdì Santo

La Madonna Che Scappa, Sulmona, Easter Sunday

john-knock madonnarunning-madonna

Read more – Hope Spring Maternal – Sulmona’s La Madonna che Scappa

Interesting Photo Journals

Pier Luigi Fabrizio records the Ortona Good Friday procession, which is entrusted, managed and supervised traditionally by females and looks at the focus in the preparation of the event from family to family, from woman to woman, from mother to daughter.




Recipe for Fiadoni – Fee-fi-fo-fum – I Smell A Gorgeous Cheese Pastry

Easter Lamb

Recipe for Easter Agnello Cacio e Ovo from Santo Stefano di Sessanio

agnello cacio e ovo

La Pupa e il Cavallo Biscuits

They were traditionally baked by Nonna on Good Friday to give to her grandchildren as a present although many a Mamma made them too. The horses were given to boys and the girls were given doll-shaped ones, some people also make hearts, boats, and baby geese but collectively they are known as ‘la pupa e il cavallo’.

The eggs they contain would have been blessed and also would be a symbol of fertility. They were also exchanged between a newly engaged couple as gifts, and there has been an interpretation of them being an informal breaking of bread and sharing ceremony for kids hence their large size.

Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.

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Life in Abruzzo
26 March 2016 11:13

The Chieti procession is very moving, the music pulls at heart strings. Did you see the link included in the post to Pierlugi’s beautiful photo journal of the Ortona one? Unusually it’s organised and led by women and quite different, – here’s a video snapshot https://www.facebook.com/fabrizia.arduini/videos/vb.1327538757/10209279253001503/?type=2&theater

Renee Diluigi-Holme
26 March 2016 14:29

it’s just that the hoods over their heads look too much like the Klu Klux Klan!

Life in Abruzzo
26 March 2016 15:32

Renee Diluigi-Holme lol, they’ve spoilt it for hood wearers everywhere!

Elisa DiVirgilio
6 April 2017 16:58
Tracy Goree
6 April 2017 14:34

Why are they dressed like the Klu Klux Klan?!! :O

Life in Abruzzo
6 April 2017 14:53
Reply to  Tracy Goree

They’re penitents, their costumes let you know which brotherhood they belong to whilst making them anonymous. They pay penance on Good Friday as they accompany the ‘body’ of Christ round the streets .

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