Anytime is a great time to visit Italy, April is a popular month for a few reasons—the weather is mild and crowds are generally manageable. Plus, there are several colorful, interesting, and unique festivals across the country. Here are some of the most popular festivals in Italy in April.
Date: 1 April
April 1 is known as Pesce d’aprile, or “April fish.” It’s celebrated like April Fool’s Day in the US, with practical jokes and pranks, often with elaborate set-ups.
Date: 21 April
Easter, Pasqua, often falls in April. Italian Easter week celebrations start during the week before Easter and continue through Easter Monday, La Pasquetta, a national holiday and a day where you may find some very interesting festivals. One of Easter’s most unusual events is the Scoppio del Carro, or Explosion of the Cart, in front of the Duomo in Florence.
Date: Weekend after Easter
This frog race, usually takes place the weekend after Easter in the town of Fermignano, between Urbino and Urbania in central Italy’s Marche region. Contestants, representing each of the seven contrade or neighborhoods, dress in historic costume and race with frogs atop small wheelbarrows trying to reach the finish line before the frog hops off. There’s also a procession in historical costume.
Date: 21 April
The date of Rome’s founding (in 753BC) is celebrated on April 21 so if you’re in Rome, watch for festivals, concerts, and special events. There’s usually a fireworks display over the Tiber River and gladiator shows around the forum area.
Festival of San Marco
Date: 25 April
Saint Mark, San Marco, is the patron saint of Venice and there is a festival in Saint Mark’s Square on April 25, including a procession to the basilica. On this day in Venice, you should give a rose to your loved one.
Sagre, or Food Festivals
Date: Second weekend of April
Look for the word sagra, which means a food festival that most often celebrates a locally grown (or raised or hunted) product. Spring is a great time to find sagre dedicated to artichokes (carciofi) and asparagus (asparagi) in many parts of the country. One of the best artichoke festivals is in Ladispoli near Rome during the second weekend of April. The famous white asparagus of Bassano del Grappa in the Verona province gets a week of events starting at the end of April.