It’s impossible to walk through the streets of Rome without gaining a newfound respect for the cultural, historical and religious significance of this beautiful city, and never is this more apparent than at Easter.
One of the busiest times of the year to visit Italy’s capital, Easter sees tens of thousands of people flock to the city in pilgrimage, marking the sacrifice Christ made through a programme of religious ceremonies spanning three days.
Beginning on Easter Friday, custom sees the Pope lead a procession around the Colosseum to re-enact the 14 Stations of the Cross, reading a prayer at each one in a practice that has taken place since the 18th Century. During the procession, many churches in the surrounding area also hold classical music concerts in tribute to this solemn occasion.
Continuing over the weekend, the events draw to a close with the Pope delivering a blessing from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica following a special Easter Sunday mass in St Peter’s Square. While this event is free to attend, tickets are generally booked up months in advance, so careful planning is necessary if religious studies classes wish to witness this momentous spectacle.
With the warm spring weather, Easter is an ideal time to take in some of Rome’s other impressive monuments. Marvel at the architectural legacy of the ancient Romans at the Colosseum and the Pantheon, or toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, which legend suggests will guarantee a return visit to Rome in the future.
Rome also offers an impressive list of galleries, museums and tours for schools to explore, including an exciting 5D simulated ride through the city’s rich history, though it’s worth noting that some attractions will be closed over the Easter weekend.
Get in touch with one of WST’s Religious Studies subject specialists to learn more about the incomparable learning opportunities Rome offers for students studying the Catholic faith.