Mercoledì, 24 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Easter closer to home and lighter for most Italians

English
© ANSA

(By Kate Carlisle)
Rome, March 29 - Even though the saying goes
'Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con i vuoi' or 'Christmas with the
family, Easter with who you like,' most Italians generally end
up spending the Sunday celebrating the rebirth of Christ (and
Spring) eating large and lavish meals together with their
families.
This year, even more so said consumer groups.
In fact, over 80% of Italians are expected to remain at
home this Easter as the economic crisis continues to bite,
farmers' association Coldiretti said Friday.
Tables this year will be lighter, as well.
The traditional 'piece de resistance' of the meal that can
last for hours, roast suckling lamb, will be missing from many
tables.
There will be 5% less meat served, specifically 10% less
lamb, consumer group Fiesa said on Friday.
For some, like animal rights group Nemesi Animale, that is
good news.
Overnight Thursday, Nemesis staged a display set out to
shock passers by with three life-sized lamb puppets hung from a
tree in Milan's XXIV Maggio square.
The lifelike fake lambs were a "reminder of the 800,000
baby sheep slaughtered every year for Italian tables at Easter,"
the association said.
In fact, crisis aside, six million vegetarians in Italy
will not be having lamb or any other meat, Nemesis said.
Another tradition that lands on tables for Easter is a
national favorite, the Colomba - a golden cake made with almond
and vanilla, with crackling sugar baked on top and shaped like a
dove.
However, Colomba purchases have also dropped - 7%
according to Fiesa.
The consumer group laments that even wine will flow a
little slower, with Italian families consuming an estimated 3%
less.
Expenditure on food is estimated at 1.1 billion euros,
down 10% over Easter 2012.
Even the beloved chocolate eggs that show up in children's
bags and baskets will be fewer and farther between.
According to Coldiretti, 12% fewer kids and adults will
munch down on their milk or dark chocolate treats compared to
last year.
Overturning the Spring break habit of taking a week off to
go skiing or on a family holiday, day trips to local art cities
or religious sites or to visit friends or family will see a boom
this year as Italians look to cut back on overnight stays.
Indeed traditional holidays are to see a 20% drop and
restaurant meals will fall by 3%, Coldiretti said.

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