Easter Tour in 6 Parts

This Easter tour in 6 parts is the final indulgence before facing the strict diet needed to prepare for the relentless scrutiny of beach season. So, it's worth taking advantage of Easter's delights, which, according to Ligurian tradition, are mainly six...

Goat with beans

A typical dish of the Ligurian hinterland, especially of the Nervia Valley, where the Apennines offer limited spaces and besides olive groves, the breeding of rabbits and goats has spread. Goat meat has become one of the gastronomic excellences, to be accompanied by the white beans of the valley for a perfect pairing. If one must choose a village, goat and beans are the typical dish of Rocchetta Nervina, which owes its uniqueness to the territory and its connection with Pigna. The variety of aromatic plants in Rocchetta allows for a rich diet for the local goats. Furthermore, the white beans of Pigna owe their uniqueness to the sulfurous water abundant in that municipality. Over the centuries, the two towns have formed a deep relationship and have made possible the union of the two foods, giving rise to a culinary tradition linked to friendship and sharing. In Rocchetta, there is also a themed festival during the summer.

Easter pie

It is one of the typical savory pies of Ligurian cuisine, a symbolic dish that encapsulates tradition and the flavors of the region. It's called Pasqualina because it was originally prepared for Easter Sunday and kept for the Monday after Easter for an outing. The existence of this pie is documented even by Ortensio Lando, a sixteenth-century writer, who mentions it in his "Catalogo de gli inventori delle cose che si mangiano e bevono" and to whom the pie pleased "more than honey to a bear." The traditional pie is made with chard; the most skilled cooks were said to be able to cover the filling with 33 very thin layers (which, when cooked, gave it the characteristic layered appearance), in honor of the years of Christ. But in reality, everything in the Easter pie symbolizes rebirth, including the use of eggs.

Chocolate eggs

Perhaps by a strange coincidence, but the three most famous laboratories for preparing Easter chocolate are perfectly rhymed with each other: Viganotti, Zuccotti, and Rossignotti. In common, besides the rhyming finale, the three brands share the method of production: absolutely artisanal. Pastry art and indulgence, tradition and industrial archaeology. All of this can be found at Viganotti, the chocolate factory at number 14, Vicolo dei Castagna, where even the wooden sign in cocoa color reminds visitors that sweetness here is an ancient art. The ancient machinery produces endless delicacies at anything but industrial rhythms. Chocolate is, obviously, the protagonist: milk or dark. Today, a visit to Viganotti allows you to discover ancient molds and timeless shelves. Zuccotti is located on Via Santa Zita, a factory and laboratory in the heart of the city. Rossignotti is in Sestri Levante, with its elegant shops and factory.


Quaresimali are a sweet Genoese specialty, whose gastronomic roots may date back to the eighteenth century. Composed exclusively of almonds and sugar, they responded to the then much-felt need to strictly observe Lent, which also excluded the consumption of fats in sweets. Three types of quaresimali are known: canestrellini with distilled orange blossom water; mostaccioli, diamond-shaped, with fig and lemon marmalade; marzipan formed on the host and filled with syrup of various flavors (chocolate, coffee, various fruit preserves). "Popolo d'Italia", as early as 1868, dedicated an enthusiastic piece to the tradition of Genoese confectionery: "during Lent, its workshop is at its busiest for the great sale of marzipan", referring specifically to quaresimali. In Genoa, the most celebrated ones are those from the ancient confetteria Romanengo in the historic center.


Croxetti (or corzetti) are pasta medallions similar to small round lasagna noodles, traditionally served with a mince of white meat, onion, and celery, and later paired with classic condiments such as "toccu alla genovese", pesto, walnut sauce, pine nut sauce, or mushroom sauce. Known since medieval times, croxetti truly gained popularity only during the Renaissance, until they appeared on the menu for a State lunch in the late Baroque period, offered by the Republic of Genoa to the ambassadors of Morocco. Today, they have become ambassadors of taste and Ligurian cuisine, earning recognition as a "traditional Ligurian agri-food product". They are made using cylindrical wooden stamps. Their distribution ranges from Genoa to the eastern Liguria, and the corzetti of Varese Ligure, a splendid village in the hinterland of La Spezia, are also a Slow Food presidium.


Cavagnetto, a typical sweet of the Easter period, has the shape of a small basket with a handle, inside of which a whole egg with its shell is placed. As always, the shape and recipe undergo some variations depending on the area where it is cooked. The recipe is ancient and has been handed down from generation to generation to the present day. The name itself is ancient and of direct Celtic derivation, coming from "kavagna". In Brugnato, it has always been the symbol of Easter as it was prepared on the eve and brought to church by children for blessings, then eaten with the family the following day. It is prepared on the eve, and on Sunday morning, children take it to Mass for blessings. Of course, the sweet is worth a visit to Brugnato, listed among "The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy". Must-see attractions include the Episcopal Palace, the cathedral, and especially Piazza Maggiore and Piazza San Pietro, the volumes of the Romanesque apses, and the welcoming atmosphere that makes the stay in Brugnato enjoyable.

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