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Easter Monday, Pasquetta (little Easter) or Lunedì dell’Angelo (Monday of the Angel) in Italian, is part of the Easter holiday celebrations. It is a national holiday, the perfect time to take a short trip to the beach or to the countryside with friends or family to enjoy the beginning of Spring, and to finish eating the Easter leftovers. “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” (Christmas with your family, Easter with whomever you wish) is an Italian saying, and it is particularly true with Pasquetta because most young people plan the outing with their friends.

In Panicale, a small medieval town in the province of Perugia (Umbria) overlooking Lake Trasimeno, there is a cheese rolling contest. It is called “Ruzzolone”: large wheels of pecorino cheese, yoked to a stick with a handle attached, are bowled along a path around the city’s walls. The team that completes the path with the fewest strokes wins.

In Merano, an alpine town in Aldo Adige (South Tyrol), a traditional horse race and a parade with the elegant but strong Haflinger horses, famous for their blonde manes, marks the beginning of the new racing season.

In Fontanelice, a town in the province of Bologna (Emilia-Romagna), you can eat a fried bread called "Piè freta" during the Festival of Piadine (unleavened fried bread), and watch the Donkey Race.

In Barano d'Ischia, on the Ischia island, the 'Ndrezzata takes place—a dance with men in 1500s costumes who re-enact an historical fight against the Saracens.

In Tredozio, a town in the Province of Forlì-Cesena (Emilia-Romagna), an Egg Palio takes place. The competition is preceded by a parade with the ancient medieval costumes of the four city districts with musicians, flag bearers and pageboys carrying the silver Palio. The competitions are: the "battle of raw eggs"; the "hard-boiled egg contests in the barn" (200 hard-boiled eggs to be found inside a big straw stack), the "target egg" race and that of the "tug of war" with two teams on the opposite river banks.





English: Haflinger mare Westfalensonne with her foal Almfee living at "Haflinger Westfalenfleiß Kinderhaus"


3 July 2009



Matthias Walther