April can be a lovely month to visit Venice. The weather is usually pleasant and the tourist crowds from Carnivale have dispersed, while summer vacation crowds haven't begun to pick up. There are two exceptions: When Easter falls in April, expect more visitors to Venice. Also, the last week of the month, known as the ponte or bridge between the national holidays of April 25 and May 1, is a time when many Italians take their vacations, so the city tends to fill up then.
You'll find plenty going on in Venice during the month of April. Here are the city's top festivals, holidays, and events in April.
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Holy Week and Easter
Tourists, rather than locals, tend to crowd Venice around Easter time. But that doesn't mean that you cannot take in some lovely pageants, classical music concerts, and Easter services in Venice during Holy Week. One moving event, the Benedizione del Fuoco, is held on Thursday evening of Holy Week at Saint Mark's Basilica. The lights of the cathedral are turned off and a fire is lit in the entrance and there is a blessing of the four elements.
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Festa di San Marco
April 25 is a busy day on the Venetian calendar. Saint Mark, Venice's patron saint, is feted on this day with a gondoliers' regatta, commemorations of the saint at Saint Mark's Basilica, and festivities in Saint Mark's Square. Tradition also holds that Saint Mark's Day is the day on which men give their wives or girlfriends the "bocolo," the bloom of the red rose. (It is not uncommon for Venetian boys to give a single rosebud to their mothers on April 25.). Sometimes a giant red rose is formed by humans wearing red (or green for the stem) in Saint Mark's Square, which is very beautiful when viewed from above.
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Celebrated all over Italy, April 25 is Liberation Day, or Festa della Liberazione, marks the anniversary that Italy was liberated at the end of World War II. Many businesses may be closed but most museums and places of interest to the tourist are usually open.
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Year-round opera and classical music
Because so much classical and opera music was written in or set in Venice, it's one of the great cities in Europe in which to see a performance. Venice's legendary opera house, La Fenice, stages performances year-round. If you're not ready to spend €100 or more on an opera or classical performance, there are less expensive performances in churches and music schools across the city. On Venice's busier streets, you'll encounter people in elaborate period costumes trying to sell you tickets to these performances. An evening spent at one of these concerts can be equally enchanting as a more costly performance.
Updated from an article originally written by Melanie Renzulli.