Activities for Easter Sunday and Monday in Florence

Guest

Active member
Your website looks great. Our sons will be spending part of their spring break in Florence/Tuscany. Will there be anything open and any activities they can do on Easter Sunday and Monday, including museums or tours?
thanks,
Susan
 

Cristina

Well-known member
There are activities planned for Easter Sunday in Florence and other localities, but Monday tends to be a quiet day with most places closed and people at home with families.

On Easter Sunday: the big event in Florence for Easter is the Scoppio del Carro, or the "explosion of the cart". For over 300 years the Easter celebration in Florence has included this ritual, during which an elaborate wagon, a structure built in 1622 and standing two to three stories high, is dragged through Florence behind a fleet of white oxen decorated in garlands.

This tradition finds its origins in events that are partly historic and partly legendary. A young Florentine named Pazzino, a member of the noble Pazzi family, apparently took part in the First Crusade in the Holy Land, where he gave ample proof of his courage (he was the first to scale the walls of Jerusalem and raise the Christian banner). When he came home, he brought back three flints from the Holy Sepulchre that he received for his act of courage. This reliquary, today preserved in the Church of SS. Apostoli, lies behind the Florentine celebration for the Resurrection of Christ.

The ceremony starts precisely in front of this church on Easter Sunday; the priest rubs Pazzino’s three flints together until they spark and light the Easter candle; this, in turn, is used to light some coals which are placed in a container on the cart and the procession delivers the holy fire to the Archbishop of Florence before the Mass in Santa Maria del Fiore, better known as the Duomo.

At 11 a.m., when the "Gloria" is sung inside the church, the Archbishop uses the fire to light a dove–shaped rocket from inside the church which then travels down a wire to the outside and collides with the cart in the square, setting off a spectacular firework display to the cheers of all. A big bang ensures a good harvest, and a parade in medieval costume follows.

Museums:
In general, museums are closed either on Mondays or Tuesdays. So I believe many might be closed on that Monday after Easter but you should check at the pages for any specific museums you are interested in visiting (generally, the Uffizi gallery and the Accademia are the most visited) on this page and check our blog closer to the date as we will communicate any special openings and times.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Museums open for Easter Sunday and Monday

Last year I was able to find a list of museums and opening hours for Easter... but just like 5 days before Easter!

I am posting last year's list and opening hours since it might still be useful. Easter is a time when many Italians also travel, so museums that generally close on Mondays make exceptions.

For example, last year both the Uffizi and Accademia were open on both days. So was the Pitti Palace and all of its museums.
Palazzo Vecchio, the Medici Chapels and the Bargello, on the other hand, were open only on one of the two days.

As soon as I find this year's listing, I'll post that on here too.
 

PFluer

Member
Easter Mass at Santa Maria

Hi Lourdes,
Easter in Florence sounds lovely - we will be there too. wanted to check if we can attend Mass at the Santa Maria Cathedrale? what time is it? is it open to anybody? what time should we get there? thanks so much
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao PFluer,

You will have an interesting Easter in Florence, the whole of the events surrounding the Explosion of the Cart are particular to this city. You can definitely attend mass in the Duomo on Easter Sunday, it is closed to the "visiting" public and the only way you can go in into the cathedral that day is to be part of the parishioners that go to the mass.

I honestly cannot give you a precise time for the start of mass because there is a procession first, all the bishops and cardinals and priests decked out in their finest enter the church and that takes a while. Mass starts and then the cart arrives outside (it is at the end of the procession) and it is set up in the space between the cathedral and baptistery. At the height of mass, the dove is lit up from the altar and it flies out to create the explosion for the cart. So if you're inside, you'll sort of miss the events outside. That sort of happens between 11 and noon so I'm thinking the start of mass is around 10.30-11am. I can try to find out a more precise time for you and let you know! In any case, plan to be in the area by around 9am, that way you can walk around and enjoy the atmosphere.

Ciao for now!
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
main mass starts at 11am

As promised here are more details about Easter Sunday mass in the cathedral:

- first one at 7.30 am
- another at 9 am
- main one with the archbishop presiding and the Scoppio del Carro is particular: mass starts at 11am within the cathedral but as I had said yesterday, the celebrations by the archbishop and bishops begin around 10.30 am in the baptistery and from there they do the procession into the cathedral and mass begins at 11am. You cannot hope to follow this procession, it gets too crowded outside and it is hard to move about. It is recommended you go into the Duomo for this mass at around 10-10.15 to get a spot and wait for it to begin.

Hope you have a wonderful Easter!
 

PFluer

Member
Openings on Easter Monday

Hi Lourdes
Are you able to find out a list of places specially opened on Easter Monday. I am hoping to go to Accademia then. Do let me know. Mtks
Sunita
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
yes, Accademia should be open on Easter Monday

It seems official announcements are no longer published or at least I wasn't able to find one that clearly says "these museums will be open on Easter Monday" yet....

In any case, both the Uffizi and Accademia in Florence are usually closed on Mondays but they have remained open during Easter Monday the last 3 years. I am thinking that will be the case this year as well even if there is no official confirmation on the museum's website.

I went to try to buy online tickets for that day, tickets are on sale for Easter Monday so I take it to mean that both will be open!!
 

Kalinka

New member
Mass in the Dome

Dear Lourdes,

I ve just found this post, actually we are going to Florence for Easter and was hoping we can attend the mass. Is all information that you mention still the same, as the it was posted in 2008? And is the entrance for the mass free or any ticket is required? I can imagine at that time it is going to be full and we would like to attend that mass.

Thank you for the info in advance.


As promised here are more details about Easter Sunday mass in the cathedral:

- first one at 7.30 am
- another at 9 am
- main one with the archbishop presiding and the Scoppio del Carro is particular: mass starts at 11am within the cathedral but as I had said yesterday, the celebrations by the archbishop and bishops begin around 10.30 am in the baptistery and from there they do the procession into the cathedral and mass begins at 11am. You cannot hope to follow this procession, it gets too crowded outside and it is hard to move about. It is recommended you go into the Duomo for this mass at around 10-10.15 to get a spot and wait for it to begin.

Hope you have a wonderful Easter!
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Yep, the institutions follow traditions very closely and the hours don't change from year to year.

If you want to follow the mass, the cathedral does get crowded but it is immense so there is space.... completely free. Just be prepared for lots of people who want to stand by the main aisle and see the procession/follow the mass/somewhat see what is going outside. If you're closer to the altar, you'll find space, just try to be around 10.15am.
 
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