Buona Pasqua, the beautiful Italian Easter greeting proclaims "Happy Easter" to all.
May your day be filled with peace, joy, la famiglia and the blessings of this season of renewal and rejoicing.
This is a day to proclaim salvation and to give thanks for our faith; regaling in the hope of eternal life, the promise of the Trinity.
In Italy, Easter remains a day that celebrates life. And no group of people celebrates life as well as the Italians.
Although Italians do not decorate hard–boiled eggs nor have chocolate bunnies or pastel marshmallow chicks, the biggest Easter displays in bars, pastry shops, supermarkets, and especially at chocolatiers are brightly wrapped uova di Pasqua—chocolate Easter eggs—in sizes that range from 10 grams (1/3 ounce) to 8 kilos (nearly 18 pounds). Most of them are made of milk chocolate in a mid–range, 10–ounce size by industrial chocolate makers.
Some producers distinguish between their chocolate eggs for children (sales numbers are a closely guarded secret, but the market for these standard quality eggs is said to be shrinking with Italy's birthrate) and expensive "adult" versions. All except the tiniest eggs contain a surprise. Grown–ups often find their eggs contain little silver picture frames or gold–dipped costume jewelry.
The very best eggs are handmade by artisans of chocolate, who offer the service of inserting a surprise supplied by the purchaser. Car keys, engagement rings, and watches are some of the high–end gifts that have been tucked into Italian chocolate eggs in Italy.
My favorite Easter treats: chocolate coconut cream eggs (sinfully sweet), chocolate covered marshmallows, jelly beans of every color and flavor, sweet Italian Easter bread, hot cross buns and Peeps.