Easter Weekend in Italy

I am taking a group of students and teachers to Italy for Spring Break. The first Sunday (March 31) will be Easter. Originally I was planning on flying into Venice on Friday, Florence on Sunday then to Rome on Tuesday. Well, Easter Monday and closed sites in Florence turned that upside down. Now I'm planning on flying into Rome on Friday, Florence on Wednesday, Venice on Friday and home Sunday or Monday. Days are flexible.
Question: Has anyone been in Rome on Easter? What can we do on that day (we definitely don't want to go to the Vatican that day!) and what can we do on Monday, which I understand to be a national holiday and everything is closed. I was thinking about making Monday a walking tour day, seeing churches and piazzas in Rome. Are there web sites that can help me so I know what's available on Monday, April 1?

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

John: We were in Rome Easter of this year. We couldn't figure out if it was just a very busy time, or if the subways were running on a reduced schedule. The city was simply very busy. We took the Vatican Museum on Friday, and was very glad to have had reservations. The walk up line was well over 250 yards long 4 abreast. Saturday, we went back to the Duomo and the rest of the Vatican. We also saw many of the regular Roman tourist sites on foot. Don't forge the Pantheon. Easter, we were driven to the top of the mountain above the pagan temple, Palestrina. This is outside the suburb town of Zagarolo, 20 miles south of Rome. I crashed into a church service only to find out it was a "private owned" Catholic church. I'm not going to get into the details of the city sites. I would suggest you sign into RonInRome.com for the best website I've found. My best suggestion is to quickly figure out how to get around by public transit. Learn the bus numbers to get you from place to place, and you can see so much more than by hiking.

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

Attitude is everything! Rome at Easter is the Superbowl of Christianity! Enjoy it! I was there last year for Easter, and got tickets through my Church for Easter Mass. I don't know the religious affiliation of your group (if any) but DO contact your hotel and make reservations for dinner on Easter Sunday and Monday. All outdoor piazzas will be open as will be the nearby restaurants. The Borghese museum will probably be open on Saturday, but MAKE a reservation and arrive 30 minutes EARLY as they are serious about their times. It will also be a good time to enjoy the beautiful Jewish Ghetto area, which is very near Trastevere. This neighborhood is very young and vibrant! There's a procession on Good Friday from the Collisseum to St. Peters, with throngs of people following it. A bit like watching the Ball drop in Times Square but a once in a lifetime opportunity that maybe the kids will enjoy! In Florence, Yellow Bar welcomes large groups and especially students for good Pizza and other entres. Don't think you'll need a reservation! Easter in Italy is definitely something I'd do again, but DO go to Ron in Rome's website. He's the best!