Best Places to visit in Italy in April

Peschiera del Garda - best place to visit in Italy in April

April is the heart of spring and Italian nature gives its best from North to South. April’s climate is mostly unstable everywhere: there are frequent rainfalls and an alternation of warm and cold weather, even in the same day. It’s the typical Easter month (even if sometimes it happens in March) and there are many tourists around, especially in the main cities of art. The Easter week and its celebrations start on the Palm Sunday and finish on the first Monday after Easter (called “Pasquetta”). Another celebration taking place in this month is the Liberation Day on April 25th: it commemorates April 25th, 1946, that is the date when Italy was liberated from Nazism and Fascism after World War II. On this occasion, several political and military ceremonies are held in the main cities and it’s a day off for both students and workers.

April is the perfect month for taking part in the many events and celebrations characterizing this month in Italy.

Best things to do in Italy in April

1. Whale-watching in Genoa (Liguria)

What: the Pelagos Sanctuary is a marine protected area spanning from Southern France to Tuscany and Northern Sardinia. Liguria is right in the middle and it’s the perfect place to observe whales, dolphins, turtles and moon fishes.

What to see: if you are in Genoa for more than one day don’t miss its perfectly restored Old Town, the largest Italian aquarium and the interesting Museum of the Sea.

How long: 1day trip to go whale-watching or a whole weekend to also enjoy the many points of interest of the city.

Why April: spring is the best period to see the whales and the other marine species because there are fewer tourist boats and the sea is particularly clear.

Weather: the average temperature is 14°C with frequent rainfalls

Practical tips: to organize your whale-watching trip check here. 

You might also be interested in: The best towns to visit on the Ligurian coast. 

2. Participating in the Way of the Cross with the Pope in Rome (Lazio)

Wadowice -the best day trips from Krakow

What: the Roman Way of the Cross is one of the main Easter events in Italy. It takes place on the Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) in the Colosseum area and it’s celebrated by the Pope himself. The procession has several stops (the Stations of the Cross) where young people read some reflective texts they wrote about the main topics of social relevance.

What to see: together with the Way of the Cross, the Easter Mass with the Pope is another highlight of the Easter week. If you are in Rome in spring you cannot miss a stop in one or more of the beautiful Roman parks like Villa Borghese, Villa Doria Pamphili, Villa Torlonia or Caffarella.

How long: 4-5 days

Why April: despite the large crowds of locals and tourists gathering in Rome for Easter, this celebration has a particular charm here. April is also the perfect month to relax in nature and have some picnics in the Roman parks.

Weather: the average temperature is 15°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: local viability and access to the main monuments can change a lot during the Easter week, so you shall plan your visit very accurately.

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3. Discover the Sassi area in Matera (Basilicata)

What: Sassi is the name of two ancient areas of the city (Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano) that are entirely rock-carved. The unique atmosphere of these places is even better at sunset or dawn and at night, thanks to the light effects on the rocks.

What to see: you can simply wander around in the Sassi area and let their special atmosphere surprise you at every corner. Don’t miss the Cathedral and its view and the many rock-carved churches nearby.

How long: 1 weekend

Why April: Easter time is a typical vacation period in Italy and Matera is one of the most visited cities in spring. April is the ideal month to enjoy warm weather and go sightseeing in Southern Italy avoiding the hot summer sun.

Weather: the average temperature is 13°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: if you want to take some amazing pictures go to Piazza Vittorio at dawn and reach the square in front of the Cathedral at sunset. Remember to choose a hotel overlooking the Sassi areas to enjoy the view!

4. Visit the picturesque town of Peschiera del Garda (Veneto)

What: Peschiera is a fortified town located on the Veneto bank of Lake Garda. It is a very popular tourist destination thanks to its nice and perfectly preserved medieval Old Town, its city walls and its beautiful lake scenery. It is also the usual starting point of every visit to Gardaland, which is the largest Italian amusement park.

What to see: the Rocca (the medieval Old Town entirely enclosed by its fortified walls), Ardietti Fort (a XIX century military building still housing some original pieces of heritage from World War I and II), the Fishing Museum (telling the story of local lake-fishing traditions) and the waterfront.

How long: 1day trip from Verona, Venice or Milan

Why April: spring is definitely the best season to enjoy the Northern lakes

Weather: the average temperature is 13°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: if you’re traveling with kids, stay in Peschiera for a whole weekend and spend 1 day in Gardaland! For more information visit here.

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5. Admire the spring flowers in Sirmione (Lombardia)

What: Sirmione is a small town located on the Lombardia bank of Lake Garda. In spring, it is decorated with more than 200 flowerbeds mainly composed of violets, tulips, and daffodils. This initiative is aimed at welcoming the tourists arriving in town in spring.

What to see: the main tourist attractions of Sirmione are the Scaligero Castle and the Catullo Caves. If you spend some time walking in the nice Old Town you will also bump into many nice buildings and picturesque churches, like S. Pietro and S. Anna, that are worth a visit.

How long: 1day trip from Milan, Venice or Verona

Why April: to admire the brand-new spring flowers

Weather: the average temperature is 13°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: Sirmione is also a renowned spa town, thanks to the beneficial properties of its water and thermal mud, so you can also spend a relaxing weekend at the spa!

6. Enjoy the celebrations for the Feast of St. Mark in Venice (Veneto)

What: on April 25th Venice celebrates St Mark who is the patron of the city. The main tradition of this special day is called “bocolo” (bud) and it involves the habit of offering a rosebud to the loved one. There is a religious procession starting from St. Mark Basilica and also a historical parade of military figures in period customs.

What to see: the main events of this day take place around St. Mark Square, where you can also see the stalls selling rosebuds. Enjoy the festive atmosphere and visit the Basilica, the Tower and Palazzo Ducale. Have a walk along the Canal Grande to admire its iconic bridges too.

How long: Venice is so rich in art and history that you shall spend at least 4 or 5 days there

Why April: to take the opportunity to combine a traditional visit with the local patronal feast. Spring is also a nice season to enjoy the canals and the lagoon thanks to the perfect weather and light conditions.

Weather: the average temperature is 13°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: to make the best out of your stay you can buy a Venezia Unica card, that is a customized prepaid card you can create according to your specific itinerary (attractions you want to visit, public transports you want to use and so on). For more information visit here. 

You might want to check out my 2 day Venice itinerary.

7. Discover the “green” side of Milan (Lombardia)

What: Milan is often seen as an upper-class and luxurious city mainly focused on business, fashion, and finance. That’s true, but it also has a hidden side: its many parks and green areas that are perfect for walking, running, biking and having some spring picnics!

What to see: among the most famous parks of Milan you can visit Sempione (the largest and most popular one), the Guastalla Gardens (a Baroque park very popular among local students), Idro Montanelli park (with a playground for kids and a planetarium) and Delle Cave park (wilder and rich in local fauna).

How long: 1 weekend

Why April: because it’s the best time of the year to enjoy local parks and relax in a natural environment in the heart of a busy city

Weather: the average temperature is 14°C with an alternation of sun and rain

Practical tips: spring is characterized by a strong climate instability in Milan, so it’s always best to bring a wind jacket and an umbrella with you, even if it’s a sunny day!

You might want to check out: How to spend one day in Milan.

8. See the “Explosion of the Cart” in Florence (Tuscany)

What: the so-called “Explosion of the Cart” is a local Easter tradition. A richly decorated cart holding some fireworks is pulled by oxen throughout the Old Town and it is accompanied by a historical parade and the local flag-wavers. It stops in front of the Cathedral and the bishop sets fire to it so that fireworks explode all around the place.

What to see: you cannot visit Florence without climbing to the top of the Brunelleschi dome and the Giotto Tower. Visit also the Baptistery and the Museum of the Treasure inside the Cathedral before reaching Piazza della Signoria and entering Palazzo Vecchio to learn more about the history of the city.

How long: to visit Florence you’ll need about 4 or 5 days. If you’re planning to spend Easter there you shall stay the whole week to take part in the local celebrations

Why April: to enjoy local Easter traditions (remember that Easter might also be in March, depending on the year, so check your calendar!). Remember that this will be an extremely crowded period in Florence and in the other main cities of art.

Weather: the average temperature is 14°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: the Explosion of the Cart takes place at 11 a.m. on Easter day. To get a good place you shall go there at least 40 minutes in advance.

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9. Discover the atmosphere full of the spirituality of Assisi (Umbria)

What: Assisi is not only a picturesque town overlooking the beautiful hilly countryside. It’s also an important spiritual location for both religious and laypeople. It is the hometown of St. Francesco and S. Chiara and the place where their huge basilicas are located.

What to see: after visiting S. Francesco and S. Chiara Basilicas you shall definitely visit S. Rufino Cathedral and S. Maria degli Angeli Basilica. You shall also save some time for the municipal art gallery, which is dedicated to the local artists of the Renaissance period.

How long: 1 weekend

Why April: because Easter celebrations are particularly evocative in this mystic town

Weather: the average temperature is 13°C with many rainy days

Practical tips: in Assisi, you’ll find many stairs, climbs and cobbled streets, so remember to wear comfortable shoes. Always bring an umbrella with you because spring is a rainy season on the hills of Central Italy!

10. Have a picnic on the beach in Palermo (Sicily)

What: Palermo is located on the Northern coast of Sicily as it is both a city of art and a seaside location famous for its beaches. It offers many sightseeing opportunities but also a lot of nature, both by the sea and on the hills and mountains just behind the city.

What to see: the most popular beach of Palermo is called Mondello and it is located in a suburb. You can choose between a picnic on its white sand or a typical Sicilian lunch in one of its main restaurants. Another popular beach is located on the so-called Female Island, where you can also enjoy some birdwatching. If you prefer a rocky beach and some cliffs choose Punta Raisi, close to the airport.

How long: 1 weekend

Why April: to enjoy the fresh sea air and start the beach season, even just for a picnic!

Weather: the average temperature is 17°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: if you happen to be in Palermo at Easter, taste the typical desserts of the period. They are “Pupi cu l’ova” (carved and colored figures made of sweet pastry hiding a hard-boiled egg) and the Easter lamb (made of decorated almond paste).

You might be interested in: Things to do in Palermo. 

 

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