Celebrating Easter in Florence 2019

Easter Sunday, April 21:  SCOPPIO DEL CARRO, THE EXPLOSION OF THE CART. Porta a Prato and Piazza del Duomo. 8:15 – 11:30 am.  Free admission.

Be sure to arrive early to find a place (standing room only) in piazza del Duomo to witness Florence’s time-honored Easter tradition, Lo Scoppio del Carro.

As a participant of an 11th century Crusade, Florentine Pazzino di Pazzi was the first soldier to scale the walls of Jerusalem and was rewarded with three flint stones from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  At 8 am at Porta al Prato, a priest rubs Pazzi’s three flints together to light the Easter candle, which is used to light coals placed in a cart.  White, flower-garlanded oxen transport the vehicle, called the Brindellone, to Piazza del Duomo.  A procession of soldiers, city officials and musicians in medieval clothing lead the way, stopping in piazza Repubblica at 9 am for a show of live music and flag-throwing before arriving at the Cathedral (9:30 am).

During Easter mass, about 11 am, the Cardinal utilizes the fire to set off a mechanical dove from the cathedral’s altar.  The bird flies down a wire with the aim of striking the cart to ignite a spectacular firework show believed to forecast a good harvest — lo scoppio del carro — for the cheering crowd in the square.  If the dove misses the target, it is taken as a bad omen.

While most museums are normally closed during the Easter holidays, some Florence galleries, alongside the state-run sites, will be open during Easter Sunday. The following is a compiled list of participating museums for visitors and residents alike to enjoy.

The Accademia. Via Ricasoli, 58-60

8:15 am – 6:50 pm. last admission 6:20 pm.

The Uffizi Gallery. Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6

8:15 am – 6:50 pm.

Pitti Palace Museums & the Boboli Gardens

8:15 am – 6:50 pm.

Bargello National Sculpture Museum

8:15 am – 5 pm.

Medici Chapels

8:15 am – 1:50 pm.

Palazzo Davanzati Museum of the Renaissance Home.

1:15 am – 6:50 pm.

Galileo Museum. Piazza dei Giudici, 1

9:30 am – 6 pm.

Palazzo Vecchio. Piazza Signoria 1

9 am – 11 pm.

Palazzo Vecchio Tower.

9 am – 9 pm.

Novecento Museum. Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 10

11 am – 8 pm.

Santa Maria Novella. Piazza Santa Maria Novella e Piazza Stazione, 4

1 pm – 5:30 pm.


Sun. 21: Easter Sunday

Easter services, St. James Episcopal Church, via Rucellai 9.  9 & 11 am, followed by Easter egg hunt.

Mass in English. Santi Apostoli, Piazza Limbo 1.  10:30 am.

Easter Day Sung High Mass of the Resurrection.  St. Mark’s Anglican Church, via Maggio 16.  10:30 am.

Mass in English. Duomo (Florence Cathedral).  5 pm.