Roma Experience Spring-Clean Pacentro on Ecological Day

Italy seems as if it’s full of charming mediaeval hilltop villages – and it is – but perhaps none are as wholly charming as Pacentro. Gorgeous mediaeval Pacentro sits atop a hillside only a couple of hours outside of Rome, looking down upon the forested valleys of the magnificent Majella National Park.

Pacentro, although not a top tourist destination, holds a special place in the Roma Experience team’s heart. Despite being named one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, Pacentro is perhaps best known as the town Madonna’s family is from. However, Roma Experience knows it as the home of our business development partner, Robert Pardi. Rob’s Bisnonno grew up in Pacentro, before he crossed the wide sea to the States.

Which is why Rob was so eager to participate in Pacentro Ecological Day. Once a year, on April 15th, towns across Abruzzo participate in big clean-up operations; a generous act of Spring cleaning, if you will. Pacentro is no different, and last weekend Rob took to the streets, along with his friends from the Borgo, to give the village of Pacentro a good Spring-clean.

Pacentro: A Most Beautiful Village

Abruzzo, the region Pacentro is within, is renowned for its spectacular natural beauty – and Pacentro is in a prime location. The mediaeval Borgo sits inside Majella National Park, an area with some of the most diverse flora and fauna in Italy. Take a hike through Majella and expect to see rare species of deer and birds; the park is positively brimming with life. Some of Italy’s last native wolves and bears call Majella home. These animals all live within an astonishing natural landscape, dominated by craggy mountains, rich green pines, and an amazing diversity of flowers.

Perhaps such close proximity to these natural wonders is what motivates the people of Pacentro to keep the town beautiful. Of course, that was a big motivating factor for Rob – but he had a more personal reason for participating in Pacentro Ecological Day. Before Rob’s Bisnonno emigrated to America, he was born and raised in Pacentro. As an adult, Rob was determined to reconnect with his Italian roots. After visiting Pacentro, he found himself falling in love with this little village atop a hill, before eventually buying a home there. Rob wanted to give something back.

“My Great-Grandfather left to give me opportunities,” Rob told me, “but he was raised here. His experience in this town shaped my upbringing. Now, I live here. Taking part in Pacentro Ecological Day is great. The whole village unites to re-beautify Pacentro.”  Rob spent his day sweeping the city’s streets, picking up trash and planting flowers. “Only red flowers though. The people of Pacentro are very insistent on their color scheme!”

Reconnect With Your Italian Roots

Rob’s experience with Pacentro inspired our Ancestor’s Tour of Italy. We now offer the descendants of Italian emigres the chance to reconnect with their heritage, on a full-tour of the town their ancestors come from. For Rob, reconnecting with his ancestral home altered his life forever. Now, he counts the inhabitants of Pacentro as firm friends. Not many tours can promise to forever change your life – but if any can, it’s our Ancestor’s Tour.

As a team, Roma Experience care about preserving the remarkable heritage and unique beauty of Italy, which is why we’re proud Rob represented us at Pacentro Ecological Day. Keeping Italy looking gorgeous is a great way to give back to a country that’s produced so much beauty, that the whole world enjoys. We look forward to the next Ecological Day!

Have The Best Easter: Rome Easter Week Events

No matter when you visit Rome, the city is always beautiful.

In Autumn, Rome is all orange and gold. In Winter, a glimmer of frost on the marble monuments gives them a haunting beauty. Summer’s heat fills the city’s sprawling café-restaurants with music and laughter, as soon as the sun goes down.

At Easter Rome is full of the vibrancy of renewal: the city’s cherry trees are in bloom, flowers have exploded on the city’s balconies, and pilgrims gather, to hear the story of Jesus’ triumph over death.

If you want to experience the best of the Eternal City’s charming idiosyncrasies, at Easter Rome comes into its own. See how vibrant the religious life of the city is and enjoy some unique cultural events.

Read on to discover everything to look forward to this Rome Easter Week 2019.

Palm Sunday, April 14th, 2019

Rome’s Easter celebrations really begin on Palm Sunday. In Christian tradition, Palm Sunday was the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, and was greeted by crowds of supporters, waving palms.

The day is commemorated in Rome with a special mass by the Pope in St. Peter’s Square. First, at 9:30am in the morning, Pope Francis will bless the pilgrims. Then, there is a procession with the palms and a mass.

All tickets for Papal masses are free – if you want a ticket, click here.

Easter in Rome: Chocolate Bonanza, April 16, 2019

One of the best things to do in Rome during Easter week? Eat!

This Chocolate Bonanza is one of the best ways to celebrate one of the best things about Easter: the proliferation of sweet treats. Roma Experience are offering an exclusive, one-off Chocolate Bonanza Tour Event, and for those with a sweet-tooth, it can’t be missed.

Relish the opportunity to visit some of the city’s best chocolatiers, go to a slow-food chocolate market and finally, visit a real-life chocolate factory, to see how artisan chocolate is made! My stomach is rumbling just thinking about it…

Maundy Thursday, April 18th, 2019

The first mass held on Maundy Thursday is the Chism Mass, held in St. Peter’s Basilica at 9:30 am. Pope Francis will bless the 3 oils that are used in the life of the Church. The Chism Mass was only revived in the 1960s, when a text by early-Christian theologian Hippolytus was discovered, which described the mass’ wide-spread practice in the 3rd century AD.

Churches all across Rome will hold their traditional Maundy Thursday service that evening. Priests all over the city will recreate the most striking moment of Jesus’ final evening: when he washed his disciples’ feet. After the congregation, the Priests of Rome will wash the feet of their congregation. If you’re a believer, this is an event not to miss.

Good Friday April 19th, 2019

Arguably, the most spectacular event of Rome’s Easter Week is held on Good Friday. At 9pm in the evening the celebration of the Via Crucis is held at the Colosseum. The Pope, with a procession of the faithful, carry a reproduction of the cross from the Colosseum to Rome’s Palatine Hill.

Many in the crowd hold candles – to represent that Jesus is the light of the world. The procession of the Stations of the Cross is a truly spectacular event to behold, whether you are Christian or not. Set against the beautiful backdrop of some of the most iconic sights of the Eternal City, this is an event you cannot miss.

Easter Saturday, April 20th, 2019

The vigil on Easter Saturday marks the congregation waiting for the resurrection of Christ. A mass is held in St. Peter’s Basilica, which is first proceed by the faithful gathering around a holy fire lit in the Square, to symbolise Jesus as the light of the world.

Easter Sunday, April 21st, 2019

On Easter Sunday, the Pope holds his blessing to Rome and the world from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. The congregation gather in the square to receive the Pope’s blessing. People from all over the world come to attend the mass on Easter Sunday, so competition for tickets is fierce. If you’re looking to attend, consider getting tickets sooner rather than later.

This Easter Sunday in Rome falls on another special day: the anniversary of the mythological founding of Rome, which was, apparently, 2,771 years ago. Enjoy a special parade of Gladiators and other Ancient Roman types at the Roman Forum at 10am. Choose whether you’re more of a pagan or Christian disposition first – the mass at St. Peter’s Basilica and the celebration of Rome’s birthday clash.  

Across Easter Week

From April 17th to mid-November, a special multimedia show will be held in the Forum of Caesar and the Forum of Augustus. Recreations of the buildings of the Roman Forum, at the peak of the Roman Empire, will be projected on the existing Roman Forum. Audio guides are available to hear the history of the Forums narrated. Look here to find the availability for this event during Easter Week.

Why Visit Rome During Easter Week?

At Easter Rome shows some of its most beloved characteristics. Many of the events held throughout the city reveal the current of communal spirit that still runs through this capital of capitals. The city is radiant with color; spring flowers have sprung up all across the Eternal City – and, its jacket weather! You can eat outside at evening, enjoy the rare and strange festivals of Rome at this time, and if you’re Catholic, participate in the vibrant religious festivals. Seasonal vegetables are popping up across markets, and its not too hot to indulge in a Chocolate Bonanza. Visiting Rome at Easter might be the perfect time.

by Annie Beverley