When is it ok to be woken up at 3am on vacation? When it’s Easter in Sorrento!

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Easter in Sorrento is a great time to be there!  There are two Easter processions that happen Easter week.  They are deeply rooted in history, and began as simple as a few religious monks walking the streets in the 1500’s.  In the 1700’s the processions started to become a more elaborate affair.  In the still of the night between Maundy Thursday and  Good Friday, about 3am, we were woken by the dirge like music and singing as hundreds of people dressed in white walked right below our balcony.

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They walk only by lanterns and torchlights, carrying banners and crosses.

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The White Procession, called this, because of the white robes and hoods worn, symbolizes that Mary is wandering the streets looking for her son.

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The next evening, around 8pm a similar procession occurred, only this is the Black Procession named for the black robes and hoods worn on this night.

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This procession represents that Mary has found her dead son, and a large wooden sculpture of the dead Christ is followed by a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows.

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Both of these processions are very moving, particularly as everything else in the town is silent except for the rustling of capes, quiet footsteps and the voices of the singers as they sing the Misere.  Both processions have over 500 people in them, including children.  These are not to be missed when visiting the Amalfi Coast at Easter.

For those who will be in Sorrento on Easter Sunday, we found everything, stores and restaurants alike to be open, and everyone was out walking enjoying the day!

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2 responses to “Rome 2006”

  1. Melanie says:

    Great blog that I discovered today from your link on the Fodors forum! My husband and I are planning a 2 week trip with my girls who will be 7 and 9 at the time and have options between early April, anytime in July or early October. We are planning to fly into Venice and out of Rome, spending time in Lombardy and Abruzzo in between. Do you have a recommendation for the best time of year weather and crowd wise to travel to Italy given our available options above? Thank you!!

    • Judy Gambee says:

      Melanie – glad you found the blog – the Fodors forum is an excellent source of information!! With respect to crowds and weather – I would skip July – it will be very hot and very crowded! We have been to Italy four times – twice in late March and twice in June. Our first trip in late March the weather was really great, the second time was pretty rainy – but that had been a rainy year (my daughter had been studying in Rome that semester and she said it rained a lot that year). Our first trip in June was unbearably hot – particularly in Rome. Our second trip in June was nice but then we also stayed in Northern Italy for that trip. I can only imagine that July would be very hot.

      According to historical weather info (I just looked at Rome) it appears that early Oct might be a little warmer than early April but the days are longer in April. I had always heard that Europe in early Oct was a great time to go so we did that for the first time this past Oct (Brussels, Berlin and Budapest) and I have to say it was unusually cold and rainy so I’m a little hesitant to recommend Oct (though apparently that was an anomaly). I think both early April and early Oct will be good for not super big crowds. I’m not sure if you are planning for 2016 or 2017 – just recommend you check when Easter is the year you are going if plan for April. Our first trip we specifically did not want to be there then but our other time in March we were actually in Sorrento on Easter and really enjoyed the festivities!!

      Sounds like you are planning a wonderful trip!!

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