This will help you decide what to include and avoid in your marketing materials to tailor them to an Italian audience:
- Public holidays
Let’s start with the practical stuff. Good Friday isn’t a public holiday in Italy, but the Monday after Easter is. Italians refer to Easter Monday as La Pasquetta, meaning ‘Little Easter’.
- Religious traditions
Traditional Christian rituals such as foot washing and marking the stations of the cross are observed across Italy during Holy Week (the week before Easter).
On Easter Sunday, many families attend mass together at church. The Pope leads a ceremony in St Peter’s Square in Rome and delivers an Easter blessing, Urbi et Orbi.
- Festivals & celebrations
Different cities and regions of Italy celebrate Easter in their own unique ways. Here are two interesting examples:
Scoppio del Carro, Florence
The ‘exploding of the cart’ is a huge firework display that takes place in Florence on Easter Sunday. A cart filled with fireworks is pulled into the Piazza del Duomo by decorated oxen. Then, a rocket in the shape of a dove is used to light the contents of the cart!
The Festival of Eggs, Tredozio
The Palio dell'uovo, a 2-day competition in Tredozio, is all about eggs! Highlights include a medieval parade, a hard-boiled egg eating contest and a race to find 200 boiled eggs in a haystack.
- Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi
This rhyming Italian phrase translates roughly as ‘Christmas is spent with family, Easter is spent with whoever you want’.
Although Easter Sunday is traditionally spent with relatives, Italians often spend Easter Monday outdoors with friends, taking a day trip or having a picnic.
A typical Easter Sunday lunch in Italy includes lamb. For dessert, there are special Easter cakes like Colomba Pasquale, a sweet bread in the shape of a dove, and Pastiera Napoletana, a tart made with ricotta cheese, eggs, berries and orange flower water.
- Easter symbols
Eggs are an important Easter symbol in Italy. They have connotations of new life and re-birth that align with the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Chocolate eggs are very popular and often have gifts inside.
Much of the Easter imagery in Italy stems from religion and is similar to the symbolism used in the UK. However, the idea of the Easter Bunny isn’t common in Italy, so it’s best to avoid any references to it in your marketing!
What to consider when creating an Easter marketing campaign
If you’ve used any Easter-related word-play, such as ‘hop over’, ‘EGGcellent’ and ‘have a cracking Easter’, these phrases would need to be ‘transcreated’ as they have no direct translation into Italian. It’s best to ask an Italian translator, who understands the local culture to find an alternative way of expressing the same message, but in a way that Italian people can relate to.
The Co-op’s Easter campaign where they were ‘on the hunt for good eggs’ is another example of a tagline that would need to be creatively translated to appeal to the Italian market. As would this Easter tagline from Reese’s: ‘We feel sorry for the chocolate bunnies. They’re just so empty inside’.
By being aware of the customs surrounding Easter in Italy, you can tailor your marketing materials and ensure your campaign is successful.
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