After all of the activities that occurred here in Ascoli Piceno leading up to Christmas and for Carnivele we have been a little surprised by the lack of activity leading up to Easter, or Pasqua in Italian. There is a small mercatino on the east end of Piazza Arringo but only a few booths and they set-up a carousel in Piazza Arringo which the children and young at heart are enjoying. We have heard of other towns in Italy that have colorful processions during the week leading up to Pasqua but not so here.
Valerie has written about the candy assortments available at the local stores and Thursday she brought home one from our local chocolate store. I look at this hand-crafted delight and wonder why one would opt for a mass produced confection.
Friday, being Good Friday commemorating the trial and crucifixion of Christ, there were two processions in town marking the stages of the cross. The first one was for the children and took place in Piazza del Popolo with some of the kids dressed as Bible characters as they walked around the piazza stopping at each stage for a brief reading.
Friday night there was large procession that started at the west end of the centro storico at Porta Romana going down Corso Mazzini, up Corso Trento e Trieste and into Piazza Arringo and finishing at the steps of the Duomo. At each stage there were four youngsters, who looked like they were wearing Scout uniforms, who had candles and a large painting depicting a scene for that stage. There were people carrying loudspeakers along the route as along Corso Mazzini the line stretched almost 100 meters and there were probably 3,000 people involved.
Sunday and Monday most of the shops will be closed for Pasqua and Pasquetta (little Easter) which is tradionaly a day for families to go into the countryside for picnics. The sun has been shining and the temperatures rising for past few days so we expect beautiful weather for Pasqua.