The Easter Monday outing is a tradition that has been established for decades, at least since the Second World War; above all, it is a problematic pleasure to give up. Fortunately, Lazio is rich in parks and green areas that are easily accessible for spending an Easter Monday outdoors together with friends.
So here are five suggestions for organising a picnic in a meadow or a walk in nature to spend a pleasant Easter Monday in Lazio.
Easter Monday in Rome
The first option is for those who prefer to stay inside the ring of the G.R.A. and find green space in the streets of Rome where they can lie in the sun and take out the dishes from the picnic basket. One of the most appreciable features of a great city like Rome is that it is home to many municipal villas, which are nothing more than the ancient gardens of the residences of noble families and huge parks inlaid with the ruins of ancient Roman civilisation.
So where to go if you want to spend Easter Monday in Rome? Suppose you want to avoid the most popular and potentially most crowded places. In that case, it’s better to choose green spaces less central than Villa Borghese and more extensive than the pond at Eur, such as Villa Doria Pamphili or the Parco degli Acquedotti.
Easter Monday at Villa Doria Pamphili
Villa Doria Pamphili is ideal for those who want to spend Easter Monday in the shade of tall pine trees, immersed in the setting of a historic villa among whose buildings one can still stroll. The Trastevere and Gianicolense neighbourhoods surround the villa, so it is then possible, once the sun goes down, to continue one’s day of celebration through the streets of these picturesque neighbourhoods of Rome, which never cease to amaze even the Romans.
Easter Monday in the Aqueducts Park
Alternatively, you can settle among the poppy fields and the ruins of the ancient aqueducts in the Aqueduct Park, where the arches of the water systems that brought water to Rome and the various cities of Lazio from the Aniene River still stand.
The park is an excellent idea for spending Easter Monday if you want a space large enough to intersperse your lunch with a bit of sport, playing ball, or group games with friends.
Easter Monday in Lazio’s parks: the Vivaro meadows
In the Castelli Romani Park, between Rocca Priora, Rocca di Papa and Velletri, is the immense area of the Pratoni del Vivaro, a perfect place to open your tarp and enjoy Easter Monday immersed in nature while staying in one of the most picturesque areas of Lazio.
As the name suggests, the area is a vast meadow covering the valley, surrounded by the Colli del Vivaro and the profile of Monte Cavo. But the speciality is the picnic area ‘Al Quercione’, for those who want to keep the classic ‘braciolata‘ (grilled meat).
You can reach the Pratoni by car: once you get out, you have to choose a spot to settle down, take out food and provisions and – why not! -a guitar and some good wine, and you are ready for a classic Castelli Romani-style outing.
Easter Monday on the borders of Lazio: Piana di Camposecco, Livata
For mountain lovers, on the other hand, heading towards the Apennine chain, here are the Simbruini Mountains and one of the most beautiful natural parks in Lazio, which extends around Monte Livata, the highest peak of the chain. Monte Livata is a popular destination for skiing in winter and for excursions decorated by the colours of the beech forest in all seasons.
You can reach the Camposecco Plain after a short walk in the woods: another excellent location to organise one’s Easter Monday, this time in an area of Lazio almost on the border with Abruzzo: so one can expect less mild temperatures and perhaps even the possibility of observing the forest thawing.
Moreover, film enthusiasts will notice familiarity with the place on the plain. The area was the set of the Italian western “Lo chiamavano Trinità”, and the countenance of the sites is still perfectly recognisable.
Easter Monday at Lake Bracciano
Thirty kilometres north of Rome is Lake Bracciano, the reservoir from which the fountains of Rome (and beyond) are supplied. Lake Bracciano is the ideal setting to spend Easter Monday in a comfortable mix of nature and the city.
The lake is surrounded by accessible beaches with the black sand characteristic of lakes of volcanic origin, where you can sit among rushes and swans and, weather permitting, bathe in the lake’s bathing waters.
On the other hand, the town of Bracciano offers the possibility of taking a walk through the ancient medieval streets, stopping at one of the excellent restaurants overlooking the lake, or visiting the Orsini-Odescalchi castle.
A loop walk in the Macchia Grande Woods of Manziana
Again, you can combine the relaxation of the lake with a walk along the ring route that winds through the Macchia Grande di Manziana forest, at the entrance of which you will find a little house dedicated to bookcrossing, i.e. a place where you can take books free of charge, provided you leave more for subsequent visitors.
The Lagustelli di Percile: Easter Monday among the alpine landscapes of Lazio
In the Roman Sabina area, nestled between imposing trees and blackberry brambles, are the Lagustelli di Percile. These two small lakes provide a magnificent backdrop for an uncrowded picnic in an oasis of peace that almost makes you forget everyday life.
Percile is a small village from whose street paths lead directly, on an easily walkable road, to two small lakes surrounded by tall fir trees reminiscent of the lakes in the distant Alps.
For those who enjoy walking for a few hours on Easter Monday, this semi-hidden jewel of Lazio is a pleasant attraction, an excursion suitable for all paces and all ages. And it is also possible, with a bit of luck, to meet free-roaming horses that will be happy to be approached and photographed.
There are other ideas for spending an Easter Monday in the open air in the Lazio region. For example, how could one not mention the fairytale town of Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce, a walk among the tulips at Tulipark or a trip to the villages of Ciociaria?
It is undoubtedly worth exploring these places and getting to know your territory better or stopping off from the usual tourist itinerary if you are in Lazio for the Easter holidays.
Have you chosen your destination? Now all that remains is to hope for the weather!