Planning to visit Italy in April? Guess what – it’s a brilliant idea! Keep reading to find out why April is one of the best months to visit Italy, and where to go to avoid the crowds during shoulder season!
If you’ve ever been to Italy, you’ll know that Spring is a wonderful time to visit – and April is probably the best month of them all.
Don’t get me wrong, Italy is amazing in all seasons. Autumn is a great time to visit Italy, with fewer tourists, affordable prices and magical leaf displays both in the cities and the mountains, and winter in Italy can indeed be a treat – but it can be rainy, cold and gloomy.
There’s something magical about visiting when nature awakens, and the new leaves and buds appear after the long winter slumber. March is when everything starts to warm up, but sometimes the month can barely feel like Spring – rains and cold spells are not uncommon.
On the other hand, April in Italy is the month when Spring starts to actually feel like Spring. The weather warms up considerably, so much so people start venturing to the beach, and Daylight Saving means the sun doesn’t set until after 8 pm.
There are also many festivals and events – but the downside is that popular destinations can get rather busy. Shoulder season in Italy gets busier each year, but it’s easy to avoid the crowds if you don’t visit during public holidays.
Here is our guide to Italy in April – weather info, places to visit, plus festivals and events!
Weather in April in Italy
As we said before, the spring season is in full swing in April. The weather gets warm and sunny pretty much everywhere in the country, even though you may still encounter rainstorms, which can get busier especially in the latter part of the month.
Remember that Italy weather can change dramatically from north to south, as the country measures over 1200 km from top to bottom, and changes again depending on whether you are on the mountains or by the sea.
In Northern Italy, average temperatures in April are around 10°C or so at night, and 16-18°C during the day. In the South, daytime temperatures exceeding 20-25°C are not uncommon, and the mercury slowly dips beyond 15°C even at night.
You may be tempted to brave the beach, but be warned that the water is likely to be really chilly! It usually gets comfortable to swim around mid-June.
In the Alps, the ski season is still ongoing in April, with lifts and resorts generally closing around April 20th. However, the snow is usually quite slushy at this stage, and skiing is not always pleasant.
Finally, don’t forget that Italy does apply Daylight Saving, starting from the last weekend in March. In April, the sun sets at around 8-8.30 pm, leaving you plenty of daylight hours to explore!
Where to Go in April in Italy
Let’s start with our very own hometown! April is a great time to visit Milan, because the coolest event of the year is on – Design Week, usually taking place in mid-April!
Design Week started out as a trade fair for furniture makers and interior designers, and evolved to become a design event taking place all over town, with installations and exhibitions by designers and architects in several venues.
However, there is a BUT. Design Week is a very expensive time to visit Milan, with accommodation costing double (or more) what it normally costs.
The good news is that besides Design Week, the rest of April is not generally busy in Milan. Early April is a great time to visit, with warm spring weather, low prices and tourist numbers. Having said that, we still recommend booking your Last Supper and Milan Duomo tickets before you visit!
Similarly to Milan, April is shoulder season in Florence, and provided you avoid Easter Week and Liberation Day (April 25th), the city will more than likely be pleasant to explore, and not yet overrun with tourists.
Florence in April will definitely be busier during the weekend, as it’s also a popular destination for domestic tourists for a short break. If you are planning to visit during the week, definitely book your tickets to the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia to see David way in advance!
There’s also a really cool event taking place in Florence in April, taking place on Easter Sunday – Lo Scoppio del Carro, known in English as ‘The Explosion of the Cart’.
A cart laden with fireworks is set alight in front of the Duomo, using a dove-shaped flare, while the bells of Giotto Belltower toll festively. The fire to light the flare is lit with flints coming from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which have been kept in Florence ever since the time of the First Crusade.
3) Friuli-Venezia Giulia
The northeastern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is one of Italy’s best kept secrets, offering a blend of interesting cities like Trieste, lush mountains and countryside, and a stretch of Adriatic coast.
April is a wonderful time to visit Carnia, a mountainous region in the northeastern part of the region, offering opportunities to go hiking and enjoy scenic mountain bike rides around Mount Zoncolan, one of the most famous cycling destinations in Italy.
If you happen to be visiting the region during Easter week, make sure you pay a visit to Cividale del Friuli, a town with a truly unique Easter tradition – il gioco del Truc.
This traditional game is played in well made out of sand, throwing colourful eggs into it trying to get them as close as possible to one another. In the area, it’s also worth booking dinner at L’Argine a Vencò, one of the best restaurants in Italy – which is likely not to have a huge waiting list in April!
4) Cinque Terre
April in Italy is a very pleasant time to go hiking, especially at lower elevations, since the high mountains are still likely to be covered in snow. A great place for springtime hiking are the Cinque Terre, the famous five colourful villages on the coast of Liguria.
In April, hiking and sightseeing conditions in the Cinque Terre area are just perfect. You can tackle lower or higher routes between the villages, and finish off with a seafood dinner overlooking the sea.
The weather is not too hot, and the villages are not yet overrun with tourists – visiting in summer can truly be a nightmare, and unstable weather in Autumn and Winter can make hiking dangerous. So, if you can visit the Cinque Terre in April, regardless of whether or not you like hiking, go for it!
The Southern region of Puglia is one of Italy’s great up and coming destinations – virtually unknown to the international public until a decade ago, and now popular because of its beaches, whitewashed villages and traditional trulli architecture.
Puglia is the ‘heel of the boot’, measuring about 400 km from top to bottom, so it’s worth deciding where to go and focusing on just one area.
The northern part of the region is Gargano, with rocky beaches, hilltop villages and wild nature; in the centre you’ll find Valle d’Itria, home to the famous villages like Locorotondo and Alberobello, where you can stay in a trullo, and the southern tip is Salento, known for its spectacular beaches.
In April, we recommend focusing on Gargano and Valle d’Itria – Salento is ideal for a late summer beach holiday!
Ischia is the largest island in the Gulf of Naples, offering a variety of experiences that extend beyond the beach – you can visit an Aragonese castle, kick back at a spa, go hiking, visit botanical gardens and more.
High season in Ischia starts at Easter with the Angel’s Run, a traditional Easter celebration dating back to the 17th century. Statues representing Jesus Christ, St. John the Baptist, an angel and a veiled Madonna are taken through town in a choreographed parade, ending when the veil from the Madonna’s face is removed while onlookers throw confetti.
If you can, we recommend visiting Ischia in early April before Easter, to take advantage of the city devoid of tourists, and to be able to tour independently with your own car – the traffic is murder from May onwards. Otherwise, try to visit during the week in April – it’s still a wonderful time to explore the island with no stress!
Let’s move south to Sicily! All of spring is a wonderful time to explore the island, but April is an especially interesting time to visit Trapani province, the western tip.
If you are visiting for Easter, try to spend Good Friday in Trapani to see the Misteri, one of Europe’s most intense passion plays, with 20 floats representing scenes of the Passion being carried across town over a 24-hour period.
The rest of Trapani province is also perfect to visit in April, when the heat is not crazy and visitor numbers are still low. Don’t miss the hilltop town of Erice, the sparkling Egadi islands and San Vito Lo Capo, one of the prettiest stretches of coast in Italy.
April Events and Festivals in Italy
Most years, Easter (Pasqua) falls in April, marking the moment when shoulder season starts turning into high season.
Visiting Italy during Easter Week has positives and negatives – on one hand, you can witness interesting celebrations like the ones described above, but on the other, you may also expect higher tourist numbers and more expensive prices on transport and accommodation.
Easter Monday is known as Pasquetta in Italian, and it’s also a public holiday. Since the weather is usually nice, it’s tradition for Italians to enjoy a day out with family and friends, often with an outdoor barbecue or picnic of sorts.
For this reason, expect beaches, parks and other outdoor destinations to be busier than normal on Easter Monday. Easter Sunday is generally ok, as most people celebrate at home with their family.
According to legend, Rome was founded by Romulus on April 21st, 753 B.C. The birth of the great city is still celebrated on April 21st each year, with a variety of Ancient Rome-themed events taking place all over town, including concerts, performances, parades and even faux Gladiator battles!
April 25th is Liberation Day, marking the end of WW2. It’s a public holiday, and on the day, Antifascist parades to commemorate fallen Partisans during the Liberation process often take place.
When April 25th falls close to a weekend, people often take one or two extra days off (known as a ‘ponte’) to get a long weekend. If you are planning to visit Italy around that time in April, expect to find more people travelling around the country!
Saint Mark’s Day
April 25th is also the feast of Saint Mark, celebrated in Venice in the famous square of the same name. There is an official Mass held in the Basilica, plus a parade and musical performances.
You may also expect to see plenty of roses around Venice – it’s customary to give your loved one a red rose on the day. Rose-themed events and performances are also often held.
Looking for more month-by-month Italy guides? There you are!
- Italy in March – Where to Go + Weather
- Italy in May – Where to Go + Weather
- Italy in June – Where to Go + Weather