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Good Friday in Italy

In Italy, Good Friday is a religious observance that occurs in the lead-up to Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death, as written in the Christian bible.

Good Friday is a solemn observance two days before Easter Sunday.
Good Friday is a solemn observance two days before Easter Sunday.
©iStockphoto.com/kelly cline

What Do People Do?

Good Friday is also known as Holy Friday (Venerdì Santo) in Italy. Some Italians eat only fish as part of a fasting ritual on Fridays. Statues in Italian churches are cloaked in black or purple covers. Large processions, where people carry religious symbols such as crosses, take placeall over in cities and towns all over the country.

The most famous procession is the Way of the Cross — Via Dolorosa in Rome, Italy. Tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world gather in the ancient city to watch the Pope lead a torchlit procession on Good Friday.

Public Life

Good Friday is not a national public holiday in Italy, but roads may be congested later in the day as people start to prepare for the long Easter weekend.

Background

Some historians believe that the Good Friday procession in Chieti has origins that can be traced back to around 842 CE. In fact, Good Friday is known to be one of the oldest Christian holidays observed worldwide. It was a day of fasting during the early years, which was associated with the crucifixion later in history.

Symbols

Some churches in Italy observe Good Friday by a feet-washing ritual in which a priest washes the feet of 12 church members, symbolizing Jesus washing his disciples’ feet.

About Good Friday in other countries

Read more about Good Friday.

Good Friday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
FriApr 22010Good FridayObservance
FriApr 222011Good FridayObservance
FriApr 62012Good FridayObservance
FriMar 292013Good FridayObservance
FriApr 182014Good FridayObservance
FriApr 32015Good FridayObservance
FriMar 252016Good FridayObservance
FriApr 142017Good FridayObservance
FriMar 302018Good FridayObservance
FriApr 192019Good FridayObservance
FriApr 102020Good FridayObservance

Quick Facts

Good Friday is part of the Holy Week of Easter. The Pope leads a large procession, the Way of the Cross, in Rome.

Good Friday 2018

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Venerdi SantoItalian
Good FridayEnglish
KarfreitagGerman

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Fun Holiday on March 30, 2018

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