April is a busy month of festivals and holidays in Rome. It's an especially good time to visit the Eternal City because the weather is pleasant—not too hot and not too cold—and high season crowds (other than at Easter week) haven't reached their peak. Because some of these events are unique to Rome, it's also a good time to see Roman residents out and about and enjoying their city.
Here are the festivals and events that happen each April in Rome.
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Holy Week and Easter
Though it can fall in either March or April, Holy Week is one of the busiest times of the year to visit Rome and Vatican City, but for good reason. Starting with Palm Sunday mass led by the Pope in Saint Peter's Square, to the moving Via Crucis procession and Good Friday services in the Colosseum, and finally, Easter Sunday Mass in Saint Peter's Square, Easter Week in Rome and Vatican City is unforgettable. Because this is such a popular time, it is considered high season in Rome. Be sure to book your hotel in advance if you're visiting during this period, especially if you want to stay near the Vatican.
There are several pre- and post-Easter Traditions in Italy. The day after Easter, la Pasquetta, is also a national holiday and is often celebrated by a trip out of the city or with a picnic. In Rome, the day ends with a big fireworks display over the Tiber River.
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Festa della Primavera
Spring is a beautiful time to be in Rome. Festa della Primavera, or the festival of spring, starts in early April and sees the Spanish Steps decorated with hundreds of pots of colorful azaleas. Concerts are also held at Trinita dei Monti during the festival.
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The celebration of the founding of Rome, or Rome's Birthday, is typically held the weekend that falls closest to April 21. On this date in 753 BC, Rome is said to have been founded by Romulus. Special events, including concerts, a parade, and historical re-enactments are held at the Circus Maximus, the large field where chariot races were once held. Fireworks and gladiatorial displays at the Colosseum are also part of the festivities.
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A somber day of celebration, April 25 is Liberation Day, marking the day that Rome and the rest of Italy were liberated at the end of World War II on April 25, 1945. Commemorative ceremonies are held at the Quirinale Palace among other state venues in the city.
Since the May 1 holiday of Labor Day falls less than a week later, Italians often take a ponte, or bridge, to have an extended vacation from April 25 through May 1. Therefore, this period can be very crowded in top tourist destinations. If you're planning to visit any museums or top sites, it's a good idea to check to be sure they are open (some close on May 1) and buy your tickets in advance.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
The annual Marathona di Roma takes place the last weekend in March or the first weekend in April. It's a chance for runners to take in the sights of Rome on a 26.2-mile course which winds past all of the city's most important monuments. As many streets are shut down to traffic during the marathon, visitors also get a break from vehicle traffic and the chance to cheer on runners.
Continue reading: Rome in May