In honor of Settimana Santa, or Holy Week, it’s time to learn about the Easter traditions shared by our friends and neighbors here on Lake Como. Sacred traditions are as religiously followed as those more profane this time of year, whether it is a passion play or a giant chocolate egg, a solemn procession or street markets with artisanal works of art. Italians often say “Natale con i tuoi, a Pasqua con chi vuoi,” implying that families have a duty to celebrate Christmas together, but are free to socialize with whomever they like at Easter. So, Palazzo guests and all visitors to Lake Como’s shores are very welcome to join the locals in celebrating Settimana Santa as we have for generations. Here are just a few traditions and activities you can expect this time of year:
Botanical Treasure Hunt
The Grandi Giardini Italiani is a non-profit organization set up over 20 years ago to help Italy’s most beautiful gardens receive the public attention they deserve in Italy and abroad. One of the most popular events they organize is a Botanical Treasure Hunt on Easter Monday and we are fortunate enough to have this family-friendly event at not one, but three of the gardens on Lake Como’s shores. This is not only a great way to introduce children (and their moms and dads!) to native and exotic plants, but also a day filled with surprises and sweet treats for the little ones.
Villa Melzi (Bellagio)
Along with free guided tours of the gardens for adults, Villa Melzi is offering an Easter Botanical Treasure Hunt on the grounds of this 19thcentury palace.
- Villa Melzi d’Eril, Via Lungolario Manzoni, 22021 Bellagio
- Open Monday, April 22nd, from 10 am to 4 pm
- Visitors can do the treasure hunt on their own at any time, information is available at the ticket office near the Bellagio promenade
- Entrance: adults €6.50, children go free
- Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Villa Carlotta (Tremezzo)
This imposing, late 17th-century palace near Tremezzo is surrounded by 17 acres of lovingly landscaped gardens. On Pasquetta, children are invited to take part in a Botanical Treasure Hunt to help them discover, in a playful way, the flora and fauna found in the park.
- Villa Carlotta, Via Regina, 2, 22016 Tremezzina (CO)
- Open Monday, April 22nd, from 9 am to 7:30 pm
- Treasure Hunts at 11:00 am (age 3-5), 2:30 pm (age 6-12) and 4:30 pm (age 6-12), places are limited, so reserve in advance here.
- Entrance: children €10.00, accompanying adults (max. 2 per child) € 5.00
- Information: email@example.com
Villa Monastero (Varenna)
Get ready to pique your curiosity and discover the natural world at the annual Botanical Treasure Hunt for children of all ages at this 16th century convent turned palace, most recently owned by the famous patron of the sciences, Dr. Marco di Marchi.
- Gardens of Villa Monastero, Via Polvani, 4, 23829 Varenna
- Open April 22 from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm
- Entrance: € 5.00 for the gardens, € 8.00 for the house, children 0-11 go free
Villa Erba (Cernobbio)
There is no treasure hunt, but Villa Erba is opening their botanical gardens to the public from 22-28 April, with guided tours available.
- Gardens of Villa Erba, Largo Luchino Visconti, 4, 22012 Cernobbio
- Open April 22-28 from 10 am to 6 pm
- Entrance: € 6.50 or € 12.50 with guided tour