Easter in Turin .... Traditions & Practices
Turin Italy is not only the birthplace of Baratti & Milano but also where our confections are still made today. This region is still home to many of the Royal House of Savoy homes & history (read our who, how and where blog about the House of Savoy here), the birthplace of Italian cinema, and also a WONDERFUL gem of a city rich with history and culture and a must visit on your next trip to Italy!
So what should you do and where should you go if you were to find yourself in Turin around the Easter season?
I myself have spent many Easters in Italy, but all were in the South, where I was born and raised. Our traditions in the South concentrated largely on the types of foods we ate rather than the more modern traditions of egg hunts and Easter bunnies such is the custom here in the U.S. However, as we find the different Italian dialects that span from North to South, so do Holiday traditions. To find out more about Easter in all of Italy and what to expect, read this article from the magazine More Time to Travel. Spoiler Alert; it mentions Baratti & Milano Easter Eggs! Follow me as we journey together through Turin to see what fun and historical traditions can be found in this magical city at Easter time.
Easter in Italy is a VERY religious time for all Italian Catholics. The days leading up to the BIG day are filled with processions in the main town squares offered to statues of Mary and Jesus, masses, organ music filling the air and it is used as a general time of reflection. Then Easter day, it is time to let loose, and celebrate what Catholics believe to be the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As for the Italians, one day was just not enough celebration for such a joyous occasion and Easter Monday, the day following Easter, known in Italian as Pasquetta, is also a public Holiday and widely celebrated throughout Italy, typically meant for friends to leave the city together and celebrate in nature with picnics in the mountains, lakeside or in meadows.
There is no way to talk about Easter in Turin without mentioning The Easter Egg which carries a symbolic weight as it is the symbol of rebirth, once again in accordance with the scripture of the Catholic bible where Jesus is reborn. Italiandelights.com mentions that the people of Piemonte, the region in which Turin is located, is best known in fact for being the chocolatiers who started to add small trinkets and “surprises” inside the hollow egg.
According to an article in wonderfulitaly.eu magazine “Turin is considered the Italian capital of chocolate, the homeland of gianduia, and of another tradition that kids, in particular, love: the chocolate Easter egg. The chocolate egg has become one of the symbols of Easter in Italy, but just a few people know that it was born in Turin.”
Nowadays we have come a long way since the first chocolate egg was produced in 1925 and it is wild to see the ingenuity of artisanal chocolatiers work hard to create a bigger egg, a better egg, a more unique egg. Our beloved Baratti & Milano company, also situated in the Piedmont region, are best known for their Easter eggs. With only FOUR chocolatiers that have the recipe dating back to the beginning when Baratti & Milano were appointed the official chocolatiers to the Royal family of Savoy, every year the Easter eggs are limited in quantity but those lucky enough to order are in for a treat with flavors of Cremino, Gianduia and this year a MAGNUM egg weighing about 1200 grams of pure chocolate and whole hazelnuts, there is something for both the young and the wise (in fact not sure these eggs will make it to Easter😊! Shop the Baratti & Milano Easter Collection here.
Turin, being in the Piemonte Region of Italy known for its Barolo wines, also holds on tight to a fun tradition of cooking your Easter meat in Barolo wine! Another traditional food of Easter and eaten throughout Turin is the Colomba, meaning “Dove”, an Italian Easter cake and a sign of Spring. The best way I can describe the Colomba is as a soft, brioche like spring cake, topped with almonds and sugar traditionally. However, in the Piedmont region, known for their “Tonda e Gentile” Hazelnuts, you would find those in place of the almonds. If you want to learn more about the famous Piemonte Hazelnuts read my article on “The Noble Hazelnut”
LifeinItaly.com shares with us yet another traditional food of Easter in Piemonte, that of the “Torta Pasqualina”, consisting of “several layers of a very thin dough made with water, flour, and olive oil, in which a savory mixture of ricotta, chard (known as “erbette” in Liguria and Piemonte) artichokes, and peas are poured. Sometimes, torta Pasqualina can be made with spinach, too. Torta Pasqualina is the apotheosis of Spring’s bountiful harvest: all of its ingredients are seasonal, genuine, fresh, and it’s usually served on Easter Sunday, although it is also often consumed cold on Pasquetta”
Piemonte, with its traditions of festivals, piazza dances, games, traditional foods, wine and artisanal Easter Eggs could just be where you spend your next Easter! If you have lived in Turin or spent an Easter there, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com to share your personal traditions with us!
Until then we wish all of our followers and readers a “Buona Pasqua!”