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Easter in Rome

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

My Dad and brother left the hotel early Easter Sunday morning, but I slept in until around 11:00 AM.  I was worn out!  At around 11:45 AM, I left the room and headed for Saint Peter’s Square.  The Pope always gives a speech at noon on Sunday from his balcony above Saint Peter’s Basilica and I decided I would try and go.  I figured it would be a long shot, but figured it was worth a try.


I have no idea how I did it, but I somehow got in!  There were lines of people waiting to get in, but I got lucky.  Around 2 minutes after I arrived, the curtains on the Pope’s balcony opened and the Pope came out.  He gave about a 20 minute speech in Italian (yes, I actually understood some of it) before saying “Christ has Risen” in every language on Earth.  It gave me goosebumps then and I have goosebumps now just thinking about it.  One thing on my bucket list of things to do in Rome was to see the Pope speak, but I never imagined I would see him on Easter Sunday!  It is truly something I will remember for the rest of my life.

Easter at the Vatican

Easter at the Vatican


The Pope

The Pope

Afterwards, I walked with the crowd of an estimated 200,000 pilgrims back towards central Rome where my apartment is located.  When I got back, I continued my day of complete relaxation.  I didn’t go anywhere for Easter dinner, but we ate in our apartment.  I slept Easter night into Easter Monday for a total of 12 hours which is definitely the longest I have slept over here.


Easter celebration, however, was not over.  In Italy, we need two days to celebrate Easter.  Easter Monday is a national holiday called “Pasquetta” or “Little Easter“.  Normally it is celebrated with a BBQ in a park with family and friends.  My ISC, Silvio, decided to have a bunch of his friends over for a lunch/evening party.  We had penne with pesto sauce, chocolate Easter eggs, and played lots of board games.  I had a great time and some of Silvio’s friends complimented me on my Italian. Then, a few of us decided we were still hungry & decided to go to Monte Carlo Pizzeria (again) for dinner.

Note: This post was originally published on April 25, 2011 in a blog entitled “Romeing Around Europe” which chronicled my study abroad experience.

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