Italian word of the day: ‘Pasquetta’

Happy 'little Easter'!

Italian word of the day: 'Pasquetta'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

In Italy, Easter Monday is known as Pasquetta, literally ‘little Easter’.

You might hear some Catholics refer to it as il Lunedì dell’Angelo (‘Angel Monday’), in reference to the story the Gospels tell of an angel appearing to women gathered at Jesus’s grave and telling them He had risen. 

READ ALSO: Why is Good Friday not a holiday in Italy?

While it has less religious significance than Good Friday (il Venerdì santo) or Easter Sunday (la Domenica di Pasqua or simply Pasqua), unlike either of those holidays, Easter Monday earns Italians a day off.

Monday is Italy’s one public holiday over Easter, and with no particular religious ceremonies to attend, it’s typical for Italians to take a day trip to the countryside and enjoy the spring weather.

Cosa farete di bello a Pasquetta?
Got anything nice planned for Easter Monday?

Easter Monday also goes by another name: il Lunedi dell’Agnello or ‘Lamb Monday’, which gives a clue to the other highlight of the day – the lunch, which traditionally stars lamb. 

Romans typically prepare lamb soup or cook it in an egg and citrus sauce, southern Italians often put it in a stew, while elsewhere it will be roasted with garlic and rosemary – every family and restaurant has its own special recipe.

If you don’t eat animals – or at least, not the cute ones – Italy has a veggie option in the form of a cake baked in the shape of a sheep, which you can find in many bakeries at this time of year.

See our complete Word of the Day archive here.

Do you have a favourite Italian word you’d like us to feature? If so, please email us with your suggestion.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Italian expression of the day: ‘Ti conviene’

It's in your best interests to familiarise yourself with this handy verb.

Italian expression of the day: 'Ti conviene'

When someone tells you “ti conviene…” they might be doing any of offering a friendly piece of advice, giving instructions, issuing a veiled threat, or complaining – whichever it is, you’d better (ti conviene) pay attention.

The phrase – the second person indirect object pronoun ti followed by the third person singular conjugation of the verb convenire – can mean any of ‘It is advisable to you/ it is convenient to you/ it suits you/ you should/ you’d better’, but sounds more natural than most of those options do in English.

Ti conviene darti una mossa, il treno parte fra un’ora.
You’d better get a move on, the train leaves in an hour.

Non ti conviene andare a quest’ora, l’ufficio sarà già chiuso.
You don’t want to go at this hour, the office will already be closed.

Ti interessi alle nostre vite solo quando ti conviene.
You only take an interest in our lives when it suits you.

You’ll notice it’s always followed by an infinitive verb, and you can switch out the pronoun with any of mi/ti/le/gli/vi/ci depending on who you’re talking about (or to).

Non mi conviene accettare questo lavoro se si tratta di un viaggio di due ore a tratta.
It’s not worth it for me to take this job if it involves a two hour commute each way.

Is Any Of This Worth It Hunter Franklin GIF - Is Any Of This Worth It Hunter Franklin The Oval GIFs

Gli conviene dirci la verità.
It’s in his best interests to tell us the truth.

or simply dispense with it altogether:

Conviene prenotare in anticipo, gli alberghi si riempiono rapidamente in questo periodo dell’anno.
It’s worth booking ahead, the hotels book up quickly this time of year.

Non conviene andare in spiaggia in agosto, sarà strapiena di gente.
It’s not worth going to the beach in August, it’ll be packed to the gills.

The verb’s infinitive form convenire, can, used differently, also mean ‘to agree upon’, ‘to gather or assemble’, or ‘to be cheap’ (conveniente is an Italian false friend, meaning ‘affordable’ rather than ‘convenient’).

Comprare le cose dal mercatino dell’usato conviene sempre.
It’s always cheaper to shop at the second hand market.

Now you know how to use this phrase, ti conviene try it out in a conversation at the first opportunity.

Do you have an Italian word you’d like us to feature? If so, please email us with your suggestion.