If you’re lucky enough to be anywhere in the Maremma this weekend, there are plenty of fantastic events you don’t want to miss out on.
Here are my favourites:
All weekend long:
Pasqua in giro, Albegna Valley
Trade gluttonous lunches and a stomach ache for a guided tour of the Albegna Valley. These walks are rare, but extremely sought after because you get to experience the beauty of the countryside – the beauty that makes the Tuscan Maremma such an incredible destination – with someone who not only knows about the tourist sights, but also the flora and fauna.
Pasquavela, Porto Santo Stefano
From now until April 1, Porto Santo Stefano’s yacht club is hosting its annual Easter sail regatta. It’s good watching if you’re passionate about the sport. For more information, check out www.ycss.it
Pasqua in Laguna, Orbetello
Orbetello on the Monte Argentario coastline celebrates this Easter weekend with a explosion of colourful decorations, a children’s parade and an antiques market in the main square.
Sagra dell’Agnello, San Martino sul Fiora
This is the festival I’ll be at this year. The 46th Festival of the Lamb in San Martino sul Fiora in the Fiora Valley is an institution. Lamb, Spring and Easter go hand and hand and I can’t wait to taste the signature dish – ‘il’buglione’ – a bread soup that’s been reinforced with lamb. Or you could just go for the classic lamb, which has been roasted over a fire pit, just like it has been every year since this festival started.
Throughout the weekend, before and after meals, there will be market stalls selling local products and handicrafts, as well as live music from bands like Sorano’s G.Verdi orchestra and dancing. This festival is on in the town’s main piazza.
Sunday, 27 March
Domenica di Pasqua di Resurrezione, Porto Santo Stefano
A taste of tradition in Porto Santo Stefano on the Monte Argentario coastline, this Easter Sunday festival kicks off with the recreation of a century old procession known as the Processione del Cristo Risorto. Members of the community follow a statue of the risen Christ through the town before stopping at the spectacular boardwalk to watch the priest bless the sea as the ships in the pier sound their horns. I’ve described it badly, but it’s incredibly evocative.
The procession starts at dawn, which is set for 7am on Sunday.
Tradizionale colazione di Pasqua, Montemerano and Manciano
Easter breakfast is a big thing in the Tuscan Maremma. It is one of the few things that is truly Maremman. I remember the first year I was in Manciano and my host grandmother reverently prepared Easter breakfast for me. The eggs blessed by the local priest, the thick sliced ham and the schiaccia di pasqua – it’s something you don’t easily forget.
Tourists needed miss out on this tradition. Both Manciano and Montemerano in the Fiora Valley are hosting Easter breakfasts from 9am in Manciano’s Piazza Garibaldi and Montemerano’s Piazza del Castello.
Pranzo di Pasquetta, Manciano
Just in case you missed out on the Easter treats, this typical Pasquetta barbecue lunch will fill you up with grilled meats, sausages and plenty of that Italian fail safe – pasta, from 12:30pm at the Laghetto del Maggiolini park just outside of Manciano. For more information, visit Manciano’s tourist office on Via Marsala.
Or you can throw your own Pasquetta picnic, Maremma style with my guide to celebrating Easter Monday.