Italian Easter Eggs

close up of Italian Easter egg packaging

Brightly colored cellophane has been taunting me. Italian Easter eggs are large, in charge and unavoidable.

Walking down the street, riding the bus, on the metro: it seems like everyone has huge Easter eggs peeking out of their bags. Giant, chocolate, eggs.

The phenomenon seems on par with the panettone craze that struck everyone at Christmas time.  And who am I to fight tradition? I had to buy one.

Packaging of Italian easter egg

“LOOK!” I literally squealed at the display in the supermercato. “Sorpresa! There is a surprise inside!”

Unwrapped chocolate Easter egg

I was warned that I had to wait until Easter day to unwrap it.

Yeah. Right.  If there is chocolate in the house, it will be opened.

And this is the great thing about Italian Easter eggs… they are primarily chocolate. In fact, the Italian version of these holiday sweets is the exact opposite to American Easter eggs. Whereas American eggs tend to be made of plastic and then filled with small candies, Italian Easter eggs are made of chocolate and filled with plastic.

I’m not going to lie, I got a little excited about the surprise.  What could it be?!?

Italian chocolate with toy inside

A non-functional, teeny slinky? Lame.

At least the chocolate egg was tasty.

However, the more you spend on the Italian Easter egg, the better the prize and the superior the quality of chocolate. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, supermarkets build towers of the brightly wrapped eggs which have different themes and are often marketed as being specifically for boys or girls. You can also find specialty versions of the eggs at pastry shops.

Even as an adult, I feel completely entitled to partake in all the kiddy traditions because they weren’t a part of my American childhood.

Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!

(P.S. The one thing I miss a bit is dying Easter eggs. However, most eggs in Italy have a brown shell which is difficult to color. There is a rumor that Lidl has white-shell eggs in case you are hoping to recreate this tradition while living abroad).

14 thoughts on “Italian Easter Eggs

  1. L says:

    I love those eggs 🙂
    Just wondering, what do you study in Rome? It’s just that I wanted to study abroad too, but I was told that it would be pointless to study in Rome since you were only allowed to pursue a couple of specific degrees.
    Happy Easter !

  2. Nina says:

    In Germany (where I spent a good chunk of my childhood 🙂 ) there’s these things called ‘Uberraschungseier’ or surprise eggs which are very similar to this Italian one. But you’re able to purchase them year round! haha

    Anyways, have a lovely Easter in Rome!

  3. Pingback: Il Maritozzaro: Roman Breakfast of Champions – An American in Rome

  4. Tailorone says:

    “la sorpresa” inside easter eggs is often a matter of mockery. People expect it to be “lame”, as you said. I think that’s part of the tradition as well, because a nice surprise wouldn’t be part of the game, strange to say. In fact there is a very common sentence used (better said: screamed) when you see somebody driving their car poorly: “where did you find your licence, inside easter egg?”

  5. Adrienne Hofstetter says:

    Thank you!! I have an Sicilian friend living in Nevada who is sad she can’t find giant eggs here and I was curious what Italian Easter eggs were like. I’m on the hunt to get some here for Easter now.

    • Natalie says:

      I don’t think the ones with toys are allowed because they are considered choking hazards (or that is what I heard about Kinder), but you should be able to find some nice chocolate ones via Eataly.

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