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10 things to do in Rome in April

Want to experience the Italian "Dolce Vita" on vacation? Don't miss this guide full of plans and gastronomy for the gluttons - April is a very sweet month (literally)!

Nuria Rozas

Nuria Rozas

9 min read

10 things to do in Rome in April

Enjoying Rome | © Oleg Magni

April is one of the most awaited months in Rome, a metropolis with thousands of things to see and do. After the cold and frost of the winter season, spring and the longed-for good weather (or almost) knock at the door of this imperial city.

Rome's Holy Week is celebrated, which is noticeable even in the palates; the parks bloom and the terraces recover their usual pulse and bustle. For you to enjoy the Eternal City to the fullest, in this article I tell you the 10 best plans you can make this month. Attention!

1. Live your most special Easter

Palm Sunday| ©Antonia1303
Palm Sunday| ©Antonia1303

Living in first person the Holy Week in Rome, without anyone telling you about it, is one of the experiences you should have at least once in your life. Do you like the idea? Then take a look at this article in which I explain how to get tickets for the Holy Week of the Eternal City and the main events that take place.

For your peace of mind, you should know that attendance to the religious events of Holy Week in Rome is completely free, however you will need to get a ticket in advance. Keep in mind that thousands of believers want to attend this unique celebration! If you get to go, you will love it and bring out your spiritual side.

Take note of the most outstanding religious events:

  • The celebration begins on Palm Sunday
  • Maundy Thursday commemorates the 'Last Supper' of Jesus Christ.
  • On Good Friday the Stations of the Cross take place
  • Holy Saturday is a day of silence and meditation.
  • Big day! Easter Sunday and the Resurrection of Christ

Book tickets for the Papal Audience

2. Celebrate the Eternal City's birthday like a Roman

At the Natale di Roma celebration| ©carlo
At the Natale di Roma celebration| ©carlo

Can you imagine traveling back in time non-stop to Ancient Rome and meeting thousands of gladiators in their costumes? Every year on the weekend closest to April 21, the anniversary of the founding of the Italian capital is celebrated: the Natale di Roma.

In this event you will find a parade of thousands of men dressed up with their spears and shields for the occasion. For their part, the women wear flattering tunics and elaborate crowns with flowers on their heads. Not a detail is missing!

Feed like a warrior!

In this celebration you will relive the wars between the Roman battalions, contemplate the spectacle of fire and the historical recreations in the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum. It is so real that you will feel like you are living in the time of the emperors!

In addition, the program includes dances, fireworks and shows throughout the city. And if after a busy day enjoying the fights between warriors, your guts growl, you can stop to refuel at the stalls that serve traditional Roman cuisine. However, if you are a good eater, here are some other restaurants near the Colosseum in Rome so you won't go hungry.

Book a visit to the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill

3. Taste the best artichokes in the world

Works made in artichokes at the Festival| ©Luigi Cicillini
Works made in artichokes at the Festival| ©Luigi Cicillini

Can you think of a better plan for your vacation than tasting local products? For me, as a good foodie, it doesn't get any better than this. The Romanesco Artichoke Festival (in Italian, Sagra del Carciofo Romanesco), held annually since 1950 in Ladispoli, an Italian town in the province of Rome, is a national fair dedicated to this food, which you will see prepared in hundreds of different ways, some of them very original!

What is the Romanesco Artichoke Festival?

For three days, the city of Ladispoli sets up an exhibition in the streets and welcomes 100 stands among associations, producers and artists. Yes, you read that right. At this fair you will also meet artists and their works of art, such as animal sculptures created with this unique plant - I loved a life-size cow made with artichokes!

Taste the sweets made with artichokes

For many years now, the festival has been preceded by a most delicious gastronomic event: the 'Gastronomic Bi-Week', an initiative in which the best local restaurants offer different fixed-price menus based exclusively on artichokes, from main courses to desserts. You will be amazed by the possibilities of this vegetable!

Book a gastronomic tour of Rome

4. Relax on the terraces of bohemian Trastevere

Trastevere's picturesque terraces| ©Unsplash
Trastevere's picturesque terraces| ©Unsplash

One of my favorite pastimes was to sit on the terraces of Rome and contemplate the hustle and bustle of its streets, taking advantage of the pleasant temperatures this month. That is, to give myself completely to the dolce far niente, the pleasure of doing nothing. Does the plan sound great to you too?

My favorite neighborhood for this is the district of Trastevere, a neighborhood full of charm with lots of things to see and do. In this post I leave you a guide to eat in Rome in the most lively and artistic neighborhood of the Eternal City, based on pastas, pizzas and lots of signature food. You'll want to take the Italian nonas home!

Book a tour of Trastevere

5. Stroll through the gardens of Villa Borghese with its spring light

Villa Borghese Gardens| ©Stefano Consolo
Villa Borghese Gardens| ©Stefano Consolo

Despite the good weather in April, it is still low season in Rome, except for Easter. It is therefore one of the best times to explore the Villa Borghese Gardens at your leisure and without the crowds of other more crowded periods. The spring light envelops it in beautiful colors!

It is the green heart of the metropolis and one of the largest urban parks in Europe. It is to Rome what Central Park is to New York. In it, nature and works of art embrace to create dreamy corners. If you are curious to know which are the best sculptures of Villa Borghese take a look at this article.

Book a Segway tour of Villa Borghese

6. Escape to Florence and marvel at its fireworks show

Pyrotechnics in Florence| ©Kevin Stephenson
Pyrotechnics in Florence| ©Kevin Stephenson

Spring is undoubtedly the best season to visit Rome and other must-see cities in Italy. Therefore, if you have time and you are going to be at least a week in the Italian capital in April, I recommend that you save a day of your vacation to get lost in Florence, the seductive city of the Renaissance. In this article I detail how to get from Rome to Florence. You won't regret it!

The ideal is to coincide your trip to this cradle of art with Easter Sunday, when the feast of the Scoppio del carro (in English, the "explosion of the cart") takes place, a centuries-old tradition that has been celebrated since the eleventh century and is held in honor of Pazzini de Pazi who dedicated himself to keep the fire burning on a holy Saturday.

The feast of the "explosion of the chariot"

On Easter morning there is a traditional parade with a cart pulled by a pair of white oxen with garlands, the "Brindellone", which departs from Piazza del Prado escorted by soldiers and musicians until it reaches Piazza Duomo, where the fireworks on the wagon are lit, representing the sacred fire.

The pyrotechnic spectacle is fascinating, in a matter of minutes the ancient carriage disappears amid explosions, smoke and beautiful colors ... That could well remind us of the fallas of Valencia. Finally, the chariot reappears behind the dust with its 12 meters high.

Book an excursion to Florence and Pisa

7. Commemorate the Liberation Day of Italy

Celebrating Italian Liberation Day| ©Zakari Kha
Celebrating Italian Liberation Day| ©Zakari Kha

If you find yourself in the Eternal City at the end of April, you can attend the Liberation Day, popularly known as Festa della Liberazione, which has been celebrated every year on April 25 since 1946 and is a national holiday in the country.

This tribute commemorates the liberation of Italy from the Fascist regime and Nazism after World War II and for the citizens is a day with an important political significance. Since then, every year public events have been organized in memory of this event that marked a milestone in the history of Italy.

Offering in memory of the deceased soldiers

Among the events of the program, there is the solemn tribute, by the President of the Italian Republic and high officials of the State, at the tomb of the unknown soldier, located at the monument to Victor Emmanuel II, where a laurel wreath is laid in memory of the fallen and the Italians missing in wars. It will make your hair stand on end!

Nuria's Traveller Tip

Be aware that as it is a national holiday, many tourist attractions and some stores may be closed to the public that day.

8. Enjoy the Spring Festival

Spring Festival| ©Elton Lau
Spring Festival| ©Elton Lau

Piazza di Spagna is one of the most elegant and magical places in Rome. Its majestic staircase, erected in the 18th century, makes this corner one of the most crowded and lively epicenters of the city. Every year between March and April, depending on the year, the square is decked out to celebrate the Spring Festival.

This celebration fills the steps of the square with color, with thousands of white, pink and violet azaleas. And if you are too tired after a whole day of sightseeing, a trick for lazy people! You can go up to the top by elevator from where you will enjoy breathtaking views.

Nuria's Traveller Tip

Relax in the literary café Greco, opened in 1760 and considered the oldest in the city, it is full of memorabilia of great writers, such as María Zambrano!

9. Visit the original exhibition of chocolate Easter eggs

Visiting the exhibition at the Bompiani Bakery| ©Vincenzo Pinto
Visiting the exhibition at the Bompiani Bakery| ©Vincenzo Pinto

Did you know that it takes more than four hours to create a chocolate Easter egg or, depending on the work, even several days? The Bompiani Pastry Shop (Via Largo Benedetto Bompiani, 8), which every year exhibits its 'chocolate sculptures', created by its master pastry chef and chocolatier Walter Musco, an artist who fuses food and art, is well aware of this matter.

The tastiest styles: haute couture exhibition

The Roman pastry shop has paid tribute with its sweets, in recent years, to the most famous fashion designers of our time with a display of 50 chocolate eggs inspired by Chanel, Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana, among other big names in haute couture.

10. See the cherry blossoms in bloom

Sakura Garden in Rome| ©Giorgia Sacco
Sakura Garden in Rome| ©Giorgia Sacco

You don't have to fly all the way to Japan to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. One of the most beautiful sights I immortalized in Rome in April was the scenery at EUR Lake Park, one of the best parks in the Eternal City. By the way, access is free!

From mid-March in Rome until the end of April in Rome, the Sakura cherry trees, which were donated to Rome by Tokyo, the busy capital of Japan, begin to bloom in this garden. It is one of the secret corners that you can discover in the Eternal City.

In this month Mother Nature gives us her wonderful flowering and the possibility of practicing Hanami, the art of observing these trees. A good plan is to have a picnic under the Sakura trees in bloom, as in Japan, and enjoy the first rays of spring sunshine.

Temperatures in Rome in April

Sunny day in Rome| ©Platunico
Sunny day in Rome| ©Platunico

The best thing about spring in Rome is that there are more daylight hours and the temperatures are very pleasant, which invites you to spend more hours than in winter in Rome in the street and stroll through its picturesque neighborhoods. In general, highs are up to 19°C and lows are around 9°C.

Fortunately, there are many sunny and warm days in this month. However, the saying "Aprile non ti scoprire" (don't undress yet) is absolutely true. So I advise you, just in case, to take a thin coat and an umbrella, as it usually rains for about 8 days.

Rome prices in April

Planning your stay| ©cottonbro
Planning your stay| ©cottonbro

If you are a born saver, April is one of the best months to make a budget trip to Rome, in which you will enjoy milder temperatures than in winter. In this article I tell you the keys to organize your trip to Rome and how to get super cheap flights using some tricks.

I summarize them below:

  • Use search engines like Skyscanner
  • If you can be flexible with your dates
  • Always use the incognito profile so you don't get a price increase.
  • The best time to search for flights is lunchtime, when there is less demand, avoid searching on weekends and evenings!

And finally, have a good trip! There are so many fascinating things to see in this country that will leave you speechless and wanting to repeat. I tell you from my own experience!