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Easter in Rome: Via Crucis ceremony at Colosseum on Good Friday

Way of the Cross at Colosseum in 2023.

The annual Via Crucis or Way of the Cross ceremony led by Pope Francis will take place at the Colosseum on Good Friday, 7 April, at 21.15.

The candle-lit procession - which dates to the 18th century and was revived in 1964 - attracts thousands of faithful who listen to meditations re-enacting Christ's crucifixion.

Each year the pope assigns the meditations and prayers accompanying the Stations of the Cross to a group, association or individuals.

Last year the Vatican chose families linked to Catholic communities and associations for voluntary work, with a controversy breaking out after the 13th station was assigned jointly to a Ukrainian and a Russian family.

This year the cross will be carried from station to station by refugees countries including Ukraine, Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, news agency ANSA reports.

There are no tickets required for the Via Crucis which is part of the pontiff's liturgical programme for Holy Week or Settimana Santa.

The Easter Vigil Mass takes place in St Peter's Basilica at 19.30 on Saturday, with Easter Sunday Mass celebrated in St Peter's Square at 10.00, followed by the pope's traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing at midday.

The Colosseum will be closed on Friday 7 April, while the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill will be open until 13.00, with last entry at midday.

Access to the terrace of the Temple of Venus and Roma and the Baths of Elagabalus is closed until 8 April. 

The temporary closure is necessary to set up the equipment required to film the Via Crucis which will be broadcast by RAI Uno from 21.00 on 7 April.

The event will also lead to road closures and bus detours in the area around the Colosseum on Friday as well as the closure of the Colosseo subway station from 13.00. The nearest Metro B stations open will be Circo Massimo and Cavour.

For full transport details see Rome mobility website.

Cover image: Via Crucis at the Colosseum in 2019. Photo credit: AM113 / Shutterstock.com.

General Info

Address Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

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Easter in Rome: Via Crucis ceremony at Colosseum on Good Friday

Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

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