April is a good time to visit Milan in the northern Lombardy region of Italy if you want to beat the high-season crowds, though it can be quite busy around Easter. Daytime temperatures will be somewhat cool and nights will still be quite chilly; expect a mix of sunny and rainy days.
A full calendar of festivals and events means you'll find plenty to see and do in April in Milan, whether you'd like a flea market, a flower event with art and food, or an opera performance.
Fiori e Sapori on the Naviglio Grande
Milan's flower fair Fiori e Sapori (Flowers and Flavors) is the annual sign that spring has finally arrived. More than 200 vendors from around Italy set up shop for the occasion, creating a riot of color along the Naviglio Grande (canal). The free one-day event—also featuring art workshops and food and wine for sale—will be held on April 19, 2020.
The canal is part of the Navigli district, one of Milan's most interesting bohemian neighborhoods.
Holy Week and Easter
As in the rest of Italy, Holy Week and Easter in Milan are commemorated with grand masses and other celebrations. The biggest mass of the season takes place on Easter Sunday, which in 2020 falls on April 12, at the Duomo di Milano cathedral.
During Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter Sunday), laVerdi auditorium, home of the Giuseppe Verdi Milan Symphonic Orchestra and Giuseppe Verdi Symphonic Choir of Milan, is the setting for the highly-anticipated stagings of the Passions by Bach.
April 25, 2020, is Liberation Day, or Festa della Liberazione, marking the end of World War II and the Nazi occupation of Italy. Much like D-Day celebrations in the U.S. and elsewhere, Italy honors its war dead and veterans (fighters known as combattenti) on this day.
The holiday is important throughout Italy but it is especially revered in Milan, as April 25, 1945, was the actual day the partigiani—or partisans who formed Italy's resistance movement—liberated the city.
A parade and commemorative rally usually take place in the city, with the action centering around Piazza del Duomo. Most stores and many restaurants will be closed on this day, but museums should be open.
Weekend Flea and Antique Markets
Throughout most of the year, the long-standing Fiera di Sinigalia Milano (also known locally as Sinigaglia) runs every Saturday at the Ripa di Porta Ticinese in the Navigli District, offering well-curated vintage clothes, housewares, and bric-a-brac to explore on an April day.
Every Sunday morning, stamps, coins, toys, printed goods, and more are for sale at the Vio Armorari market—one of the largest in Europe—not far from the Duomo.
Performances at La Scala
Milan's historic Teatro alla Scala, or La Scala, is one of the premier opera houses in Europe, and seeing a performance there is a treat any time of year. In April, there are typically opera and classical music shows, including some adapted for children. Due to the coronavirus, 2020 performances have been canceled through April 3, and the rest of the month's shows are being rescheduled.