Italian Easter Traditions

Easter Egg with a Surprise!

By: Joanne Natale Spigonardo

April 3, 2021

One of the fondest memories of my childhood is celebrating Easter with my family. On the day after Ash Wednesday, my Mother would start planning for the festivities. Lent was always observed diligently with no sweets to be consumed until Holy Saturday at noon. Her planning was truly appreciated when we got a chance to break into our surprise Italian Easter Egg. It was always dark chocolate with a little toy surprise.

We also baked and baked for days, we made sweet and savory treats. Our kitchen was a haven for Easter bread, cookies, ricotta pie, and la pizza ripena or la pizza rustica. La pizza ripena, is a pie filled with salami, parmiggiano reggiano, and fresh basket cheese. All of these recipes are hidden treasures brought back from our home town, Nusco, Italy. These traditional wonders are those that we savor still today.

Pizza Rustica – La Pizza Ripena

After a sumptuous feast of homemade pasta with a meat sauce that cooked for hours, grilled lamb, roasted potatoes, asparagus, and many more dishes, the meal would end with a Colomba di Pasqua. The family was around the table, telling jokes and enjoying each other’s company. No matter how full we were, we always had room for this delicious cake with candied fruit with a glass of Prosecco.

Colomba di Pasqua – Traditional Easter Cake

I hope all of you have a wonderful Easter celebration, and take time to remember your Italian roots, make new memories with your family, and toast to a beautiful Spring!

About the Author:

Joanne has many years of experience in travel to Italy, Italian art, history, wine and cuisine. She is an advocate for Italian immigrant women, and the author of White Widow, which is available on Amazon. For more information about Joanne please visit her Linkedin page:

Published by spigonaj

Joanne Spigonardo Business Development Consultant Specializing in Sustainability, Higher Education, Career Management, and Public Relations In her former roles, Joanne served as Senior Associate Director at the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) at Wharton. Joanne was also part of the Communications Office. She held positions as business manager of the Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists and for the Wharton Alumni Magazine. Joanne also served as the media relations coordinator. When with Alitalia Airlines, Joanne worked as a sales representative. Joanne graduated from The University of Pennsylvania with a BA and later graduated from the Wharton Aresty Institute of Executive Education. She has a strong background in development, management, marketing, and Italian language and culture. As a Wharton Mentor, she coached new employees on professional development, and is active in Penn’s Grievance panels. Joanne was on the board of governors for the University Club. Joanne is chair of the Delaware County Penn Alumni Interview Program and oversees alumni volunteers. As an alum of Penn and Wharton, and also a parent of two Penn graduates, she is a strong advocate in promoting Penn. At Wharton IGEL, Joanne had been in partnership with GreenBiz, Sustainable Brands, the Ethical Corporation, Pira Packaging International, Public Relations Society of America, the Green Sports Alliance, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, the Italian Consulate, the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Sonoma County Winegrowers Association, and the Nature Conservancy, as well as, many other NGO and government offices. She has brokered hundreds of corporate relationships for Wharton. Joanne is the author of her book, White Widow, published on Kindle and Amazon. The book is a fictional novel about 19th-20th Century Italian immigrants.

3 thoughts on “Italian Easter Traditions

  1. You have had so many unique experiences and relate them in the most interesting and pleasant way. I always enjoy being in your company and conversation. I am so sorry that we didn’t have more time to exchange our traditions and the lives of our wonderful families. Our memories are unforgettable. God Bless you and your amazing family, Maria


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: