April in Italy is a special time because it’s the very last of the country’s true shoulder season. The weather may not always be predictable, but visitors can bet on more sunny days than rain. This spring month is often a popular time to visit because Italy is celebrating various holidays and festivals. If you’re visiting in April, expect to see this country come alive in color and enthusiasm from locals who are ready to kick the colder months. Need some help planning your Italy itinerary? Here’s some of the best things to see and do during April.
Italy Weather in April
April weather is very unpredictable, which can be frustrating for travelers. In order to beat the crazy weather patterns during this month, you should pack lots of layers. Keep an umbrella handy and make sure to pack shoes that can withstand getting wet. A nice rain jacket can help you stay dry too. Northern Italy is bound to be cooler and rainier than southern Italy in April, but this isn’t always the case. More times than not, the weather is sunny, even in the north. And, some days, you find yourself wearing sunglasses and a rain jacket all in the same day. Keep all your gear handy just to play it safe.
Temperatures, on average are:
- Northern Italy: (5-16°C)
- Central Italy: (10-18°C)
- Southern Italy: (13-18°C)
Italy Holidays and Events in April
This is one of Italy’s biggest holiday celebrations and it typically takes place in April. Celebrations start the week before Easter and run all the way through Easter Monday. The entire country celebrates during this time so you’ll be able to find festivities and events no matter where you are. The Catholic mass held at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is one of the most noteworthy Easter events. If you aren’t able to get to Vatican City, just pop into any church you happen to be close to as they’ll be sure to have a mass too. If you happen to be in Florence on Easter morning, be prepared for the explosion of the cart, a cart that is rigged with fireworks that are set off in celebration. The Duomo in Florence is also rigged with dove-shaped rockets that are set off on Easter morning. Easter Monday is also a big deal as locals celebrate Pasquetta. It’s celebrated across the country and is a time when families get together to spend quality time. Many cities will hold events like egg races, competitive games, and live music.
Palio della Rana
Taking place in the town of Fermignano, this frog race is a popular event celebrated after Easter. Those involved will dress in traditional costumes and set a frog on top of a wheelbarrow. They’ll then race to the finish line, hoping to keep their frog in place the entire time. There’s also a historical parade to accompany the race. It sounds pretty strange but it’s certainly a unique thing to experience while in Italy.
Taking place on April 21st is Rome’s birthday. It’s the day that the city was founded back in 753 BC, and it’s celebrated in a massive way each year. If you happen to be visiting during this time, expect tons of festivities including parades, concerts, festivals, and special events. The entire city seems to come alive with proud Italians and intrigued tourists who are excited to get in on all the fun. There is typically a display of fireworks over the Tiber River and gladiator battles around the Roman Forum.
Festival of San Marco
Taking place in Venice, this festival celebrates the city’s patron saint. Majority of the festivities are held in St. Mark’s Square on April 25th. Expect to see hoards of people giving each other roses (it’s a tradition) and musical performances. There’s also a traditional parade that heads towards the basilica.
Sagre, Food Festivals
Springtime is also the time of the harvest, when local farmers are showing off their goods for the year. If you’re visiting in April, you’ll most likely find food festivals going on across the country. Asparagus and artichokes are typically celebrated in April so you’ll be bound to find a festival or two that focuses on them. There’s a popular artichoke festival near Rome in Ladispoli and a festival dedicated to the famed white asparagus in Verona.
What To See and Do in Italy in April
April is a great time to visit Rome since it’s still the shoulder season and the crowds are a bit smaller than summer months. Since April weather can be a bit unpredictable, Rome is a great place to be because there are so many indoor activities. Spend some time wandering around the museums, especially on rainy days. Start off at the Galleria Borghese, which holds a beautiful, private collection of artworks. There’s the Museum of Rome, where you can learn all about history, The National Etruscan Museum of Rome, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. In fact, there are so many museums in Rome that you definitely won’t have time to see them all. Don’t forget to prioritize the city’s most popular attractions like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and the Roman Forum. Most of these require you to spend time outside so fit them in on a day when it’s not raining. If you still find yourself battling poor weather, put on that rain jacket and head to Vatican City. You could spend entire days indoors just looking at artifacts and artwork collected by the Pope over the years. The Sistine Chapel, sculpture galleries, and Gallery of Maps are some of the highlights.
If the weather is cooperating, this is a fantastic destination to visit in the springtime. While spring rain can be irritating, it does the Dolomites a lot of good. In spring, this part of Italy becomes alive with colorful flowers and lush greenery. It’s a beautiful place for taking nature walks or more intense hikes.
The Countryside in Umbria
Umbria is one of Italy’s most lush and green destinations. Due to spring rain, the Umbrian countryside comes to life with beautiful colors and foliage. Medieval hilltop towns are sprinkled around Umbria so if you can hire a car, they make great stop offs on your spring road trip. Expect lots of stunning views, picturesque scenes, and happy locals who are excited for the warmer months to come.
Venice is beautiful all-year-round, but in spring, it’s atmosphere is one of excitement and enthusiasm. Get lost in the back alleys that run along the canals and stop into a cafe for a delicious coffee drink if the weather takes a turn for the worse. If you’re visiting on a sunny day, hop into a gondola and take a ride through the canals. Watch the boats speed around the Grand Canal, and make sure to grab some gelato afterwards. Wander through the Piazza San Marco, visit a small art gallery, and check out some Venetian glass blowing. The seafood in Venice is top notch so keep that in mind when looking for dinner options.
Florence is packed with art and culture so you know you’ll always have a museum to pop into when spring rain comes. Between the boutique shopping, Renaissance-style architecture, and wine bars, you’ll always have something to do no matter the weather. Top museums in Florence to check out include the Uffizi Gallery, (home to Michelangelo’s statue of David) Galleria dell’Accademia, Museo Galileo, and the National Archeological Museum. Make sure to see the Duomo, and wander the streets to view the historic buildings. Authentic, Italian food is everywhere in Florence so you won’t have any trouble finding a meal.
Interested in fashion and architecture? Milan is your place. It’s a financial hub that was once ruled by Caesar and Napoleon, and is now the epicenter of Italy’s fashion scene. If you enjoy the finer things in life and have some money to spend, hit the streets of Milan for the shopping spree of a lifetime. Make sure to check out the Milan Cathedral, see The Last Supper, and do some serious shopping at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Bring your camera because the architecture and street fashion will be pretty inspiring.
If the weather is nice, you’ll want to spend some time exploring the Amalfi Coast. The springtime brings the plants to life so expect lots of lush foliage and beautiful colors. View the regal cliffs that drop off into the ocean, and pop into a few fishing villages to have a look around. There are beautiful beaches, lovely hikes, and plenty of restaurants offering up fresh seafood. Visitors can take a cruise to see the coast from the water, visit Capri island, or spend some time with a cocktail while watching the sunset.
History buffs will love wandering around Pompeii. This open-air museum explains exactly what happened back in 79 AD when Mt. Vesuvius erupted and killed the entire city of Pompeii. The site is well-preserved and visitors can walk around, even seeing bodies that were encased in ash years ago.
Located along the coastline, Cinque Terre is made up of five distinct villages, and is considered a World UNESCO Heritage Site. Take a road trip along the coast and stop off at overlooks and village restaurants to take in the views. The area is best for the sightseeing, photo opportunities, and the hiking trails. Visit Cinque Terre National Park, do a boat tour, or take a cooking class to learn all about the local cuisine.
This is the largest island in the Mediterranean and is a great place for stunning views and outdoor activities. Since April isn’t too hot, it’s a perfect time for exploring the landscape in Sicily. While visiting make sure to hike up Mt. Etna, visit the Valley of The Temples which is a renowned World Heritage Site, and see the mosaics located in the Villa Romana del Casale.
Love eating pizza? Head to Naples and try as many pizzerias as you possibly can. What better way to wait out the April rain than in a pizza shop? Naples is one of the largest cities in Italy, and its historic town center is considered a World UNESCO Heritage Site. The city is scattered with palaces, castles, artwork, and architecture, so you’ll have something beautiful to see around every corner. While visiting, make some time to climb Mt. Vesuvius, eat street food, see the underground sites, and visit the ruins of Herculaneum.
Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy, especially in the spring. The rolling hills of the countryside are postcard perfect and dotted with vineyards. Spend some time on the Chianti wine trail doing tastings and visiting the vineyards. Hire a bicycle and explore the small villages on your own time or join a cooking class to learn all about the region’s specialites. The hilltop towns, and historic sites make Tuscany diverse and interesting to visitors who love history. While visiting Tuscany, make sure to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, explore the city of Siena, and do a wine tasting tour.
This is the top vacation destination of the rich and famous but you don’t have to have a lot of money to visit. Spend some time enjoying the lake, flowers, and natural scenery that surrounds it. If you enjoy the finer things in life and want to indulge, Lake Como has plenty of high-end hotels, restaurants, and spas to spend some time in.
Italy in April can lead to unpredictable weather, but it’s the last of the real shoulder season, so there are slightly less crowds. With spring comes excitement from the locals, other travelers, and the landscape. If you’re visiting Italy in April, you can almost feel the excitement of the warmer season that’s coming around the corner. Locals, tourists, and even nature seems to feel alive knowing that summer is on its way.