Easter in Abruzzo is filled with exciting things to do. There will be many religious processions, traditional celebrations and, naturally, plenty of food. Starting on Holy Thursday, church bells will be ringing in towns and villages and special events will be taking place. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting events to attend and things to do during Easter in Abruzzo.

Good Friday procession in Sulmona. Photo via Informazioni Turistiche – IAT Sulmona


The Good Friday processions in Sulmona are a deeply moving spectacle, comprising two distinct events. The afternoon procession, commencing at 5pm from the Church of S. Maria della Tomba, features solemn confreres clad in mourning attire, escorting the statues of the Dead Christ and the Sorrowful Madonna amidst the melancholic melodies of the band. At 8pm another procession begins illuminated by lanterns and led by a centuries-old cross veiled in velvet. The processions are characterised by the slow rhythmic footsteps of the confreres imitating a person moving in chains or in a penitential gait.

Corteo Dei Tre Caciarotti In San Valentino In Abruzzo Citeriore. Photo via Comune di San Valentino in A. C.


This solemn procession takes place in the evening of Venerdi Santo. A group of barefoot and hooded men carry a heavy cross on their shoulders. The men are tied by a heavy rope around their waists and necks. They are followed by a group of women dressed in black and carrying a statue of the grieving Madonna. Watch a short video of the procession here. The procession starts at 7pm in the town’s cathedral.

La processione del Calvario in Scurcola Marsicana. Photo by Paolo Di Menna

La processione del Calvario in Scurcola Marsicana (AQ)

Since the beginning of the 18th century, the small town of Scurcola Marsicana (AQ) has commemorated Good Friday with a solemn procession, La processione del Calvario. Despite the passage of time, this annual event continues to resonate deeply with both locals and visitors, serving as a powerful symbol of the town’s centuries-old spiritual traditions.

The ritual begins early in the morning of Good Friday, when members of the four brotherhoods gather at the Church of the Holy Trinity to prepare for the procession. The four brotherhoods groups separate and start walking along predetermined routes, stopping at the seven churches of the town. Read more about this beautiful tradition in the March 2024 issue of ABRUZZISSIMO Magazine (available here)

Venerdi Santo in Chieti. Photo via Comune di Chieti


One of the oldest not only of Abruzzo, but in the whole of Italy, the Good Friday procession in Chieti is certainly the most solemn and spectacular events to see this Easter in Abruzzo. Local confraternities dressed in hooded tunics walk through the dark streets of the historic centre carrying various stations of the cross symbols accompanied by 150-members strong orchestra and choir, who perform the poignant Miserere, an 18th-century composition by Saverio Selecchy.

Venerdi Santo in Ortona. Photo via Il Venerdì Santo di Ortona – Ass. Passio Christi


On Good Friday, early risers can see the processions of the stations of the cross symbols, which starts at 5am at the Chiesa del Purgatorio. In the evening at 8pm, another procession departs from the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie. It is lead by a group of 250 women, all in black. In the past, they were mostly widows, who lost their husbands at sea. See the details of this year’s procession on the organisers’ Facebook page.

easter in abruzzo
The Running Madonna In Sulmona. Photo by Paolo Di Menna


On Easter Sunday, Sulmona hosts La Madonna Che Scappa in Piazza, the famous revocation of the moment when Mary sees her risen Son. The statue of Madonna is carried by the Confraternity of S. Maria di Loreto’s members along the main street. When they arrive to the central Piazza Garibaldi, at midday, they pull the black mourning cape off the Madonna to release 12 white doves and run towards the statue Christ. The run accompanied by the excited applause of the people in the square, bells ringing and music. For more details see the confraternity’s website or their Facebook page. Read about the event in the April, 2022 issue of ABRUZZISSIMO Magazine (you can purchase it here).

If you go: The event starts with a mass at 9am. It attracts thousands of spectators, so arrive early.

Pasquetta in Roccascalegna

On Easter Monday everyone will be driving to the picturesque locations in the countryside for picnics and fresh air to celebrate Pasquetta. The castle of Roccascalegna organises medieval-style entertainments for visitors every Easter Monday. Music, re-enactments of medieval battles, flag throwing shows and spectacles will keep everyone amused. If you don’t fancy a picnic, book your lunch (vegetarian options are available) via the organisers’ website.

Abruzzo’s traditional Easter recipes

Featured image by Paolo Di Menna

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar