Here's another photo from the Italian South showing a very nice tradition: the Pasquetta picnic. Pasquetta is the Monday after Easter Sunday and as in many European countries, it is a holiday in Italy. Italians often say "Natale con i tuoi, Pascua con chi vuoi", meaning that Christmas should be spent with your family while you can chose who to spend Easter with - which usually means spending it with friends, having a picnic or doing something else outdoors. For Easter 2004 I traveled with two friends to Basilicata and Puglia, spending Easter Sunday and Monday (i.e. Pasquetta) with other friends in Vieste. Since it was April we thought it would be warmer by then but it was freezing! We had a wonderful Easter lunch at Luca's house, with more food than we could ever eat (I passed out for three hours afterwards.) For Pasquetta, we headed to the countryside outside of Vieste, where Antonio runs an agriturismo restaurant. It was still closed for the winter so we got to open it up and have a Pasquetta barbecue with wonderful meats, sausages, vegetables, and of course delicious Easter treats.
Quote from New York Times:
“Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi,” is the Italian saying: “Christmas with family, Easter with whomever you choose;” and on Pasquetta, Easter Monday, there is an implied corollary for those holed up in larger cities: “Grab that ‘whomever’ and get out of town.” For Pasquetta, the idea is “gite fuori porta,” to go outside of the city.