Are you coming to Rome in April? You'll get to enjoy mild weather, lots of flowers, and a bustling city, full of life and offering plenty to do, indoors and out.
Here's what you need to know:
I was going through my pix of Rome in April to find the right one to put here, and realized that over the years, the first week of April has some pretty varied temps.
On April 6, 2015, we were wearing puffy coats, and on the same day in 2014, jeans and t-shirts.
Over all, Rome in April offers a super climate for sight-seeing (just be prepared for some rain.)
I walk around Rome year-round. I walk to meet people, I walk to sight-see (yes I do a lot of that).
And I just walk as much as I can because, well, it's Rome! So believe me I know how to dress in Rome, in any month.
These are my personal recommendations for your visit to Rome in April, many of which I own and use:
If you are caught in the rain in Rome, you can easily buy a cheap umbrella from a street vendor. Trust me, they just appear when it rains. But the quality of those umbrellas is not great.
If you want to come prepared with your own travel umbrella, get a quality umbrella that lasts. I love mine that has an open AND close button.
It may not look like it from the photos on this page but believe me, Rome in April can be rainy.
A rain-hat is the perfect packable accessory - it doesn't take up much room but is so useful when you need it!
This rain-hat for men is a lot like the one my husband wears.
We never let the rain stop us from going out and enjoying Rome in any weather!
I own this jacket and wear it all through spring and fall. Besides being stylish, it's the perfect weight for not-so-hot days, and it's 100% waterproof so I am all set in case of sudden rain.
It's a wardrobe investment but I will say it's one of my favorite jackets all-around.
Here's a men's version of the waxed jacket.
Alessandro loves this for the rain, because it really is waterproof (and warm.)
I also own a lighter rain-jacket like this.
It's light, easy to pack and great for sight-seeing in Rome in spring.
And here's a men's lighter rain-jacket, excellent for packing and for carrying around while sight-seeing.
I say this about every month - bring a scarf. Yes, in April. First of all, it's going to be cooler than you might think, especially in the mornings and after the sun goes down.
Second of all, well, it's stylish. But seriously, trust me you will want a scarf in your bag. You will be surprised at how much you use it.
The scarf thing goes for men too. You will definitely see Italian men wearing scarves, certainly in chilly April.
They don't weigh much, and are super useful. Trust me.
For more packing tips, and a downloadable packing list, visit my page about What to Pack for Rome.
For sight-seeing in Rome in April, here is the ideal way to dress:
It can be warm during the day but quite chilly at night, and can rain, even when you are not expecting it to, it is always a good idea to wear long cotton pants (jeans or khakis are fine), and have a cardigan, light jacket - or rain jacket - and always a scarf.
April is definitely scarf weather in Rome (although for Romans, every day of the year warrants a scarf.)
I suggest you wear (or carry) a light waterproof jacket or windbreaker and bring a travel umbrella. Be comfortable, wear very comfortable shoes for walking, with good socks, and layer.
I get this question a lot, in particular because Easter is around this time of year.
The answer is: yes, it will be crowded in Rome in April, Easter or no Easter.
April is a beautiful month, weather-wise, it's not too hot (perfect for sight-seeing), and many schools have breaks.
People who have the option to travel outside of a school calendar tend to choose spring and fall to visit Rome, for the weather.
That is why spring and fall months are the busiest times to be in Rome. Just plan for it, and book things in advance when you can.
As I've written on other pages on this site, food in Rome (and in Italy) is eaten seasonally. It's supposed to be, anyway. And besides the fruits and vegetables you'd expect to find in spring, like asparagus and peas, there are some typical Roman foods that must be tried in spring. If you are in Rome in April, don't miss these:
Artichokes - these are definitely seasonal, but besides that, there are several varieties of artichoke available in Rome, which start to show up in Rome markets around November and go through early May.
The kind available right now, are my (and many Romans') hands-down favorite: carciofo romanesco, otherwise known as mammola or cimarolo.
These artichokes are round, not pointed; green and purple; and are the perfect artichoke for making carciofo alla romana, or Roman-style artichoke, which is braised with garlic, mentuccia (a Roman herb), olive oil and sometimes a little wine. It's eaten whole and when it's made right, it's perfectly soft and edible all the way through.
For a special thing to do in April in Italy, not far from Rome, head to Ladispoli on the coast, and partake of the Sagra del Carciofo, which is a 3-day festival dedicated to artichokes. And eating them!
The festival is always held in April, and in 2020, it's 17, 18, and 19 April. Buon appetito!
Vignarola - In spring, fava beans start coming into season. You will find them in their pods in Rome markets everywhere. And so spring being the perfect storm of artichokes, fava beans, and peas... you have a small window of time to savor vignarola, which is made by cooking all three of these together. Vignarola is one of my favorite things about Rome in April.
I eagerly await the moment each year when I can start really eating good, local artichokes...and the same is true for vignarola, particularly because it has such a short season.
Vignarola may be made with or without guanciale (pork jowels), so if you are vegetarian, make sure to ask before you order. It can be eaten by itself as an appetizer or main dish, on bruschetta or over pasta.
March is already the beginning of the tourist season, and the beginning of spring.
By April, the weather is starting to get really lovely, the crowds are here, and lots of things start happening in Rome.
There are some things that happen every April in Rome. Here are some dates to watch for:
The Roseto Rose Garden in Rome is sort of famous for being open only in the month of May. However, it actually opens on April 21, which is Rome's birthday (753 BCE.)
Granted, the roses are not in their full glory yet, but they are certainly beginning, and since not many people know the garden already opens in late April, it's pretty empty. Visiting Rome's Roseto at the end of April is a special thing to do in Rome if you want a moment of nature, quiet and tranquility.
Speaking of flowers, there is a brief period of time every April/May when you will find the Spanish Steps covered in azaleas.
The best way to get these shots with nobody in them is at 7am.
According to legend, Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BCE. So on April 21, there is a sort-of holiday, the Natale di Roma, or Rome's birthday.
Nothing is closed, in fact, just about everything is open. And, to top it off, all Rome city museums are free on April 21!
This includes Capitoline Museums, the Ara Pacis, Villa Torlonia, Trajan's Market and more! A great day to sight-see in Rome. For more info on which museums are free, visit the website of the Musei in Comune.
There will be a parade and fireworks. Sometimes the parade is held on the Sunday prior to the actual birthday. If you want to catch any of the events surrounding Rome's birthday, visit the website of the Gruppo Storico Romano, who organize re-enactments and parades such as this one. All events are free.
Liberation Day, the Festa della Liberazione, is an important national holiday in Rome and in Italy - it celebrates the end of Nazi occupation during WWII, and the end of Fascist rule in Italy (Benito Mussolini was shot 3 days later).
Being a national holiday, schools, banks and shops are closed. No tourist sites are closed. The Vatican is not part of Italy, and therefore is not affected by this holiday at all.
The Associazione Nazionale Partigiani d’Italia (ANPI), which means "Association of National Partisans of Italy", will parade from the Colosseum to Porta San Paolo (where the Pyramid is), starting around 9:30am.
On the last Sunday of every month, the Vatican museums are open, and free.
Hours are reduced (9:30am - 2pm, with last entry at 12:30pm). Expect long lines.
If you are on a budget, or have limited time, this can be a great opportunity.
You cannot buy tickets in advance for the Free Sunday, but you can book a tour of the museums through the Vatican. If you don't want to book this tour, just come early. By early I mean by 8am.
But otherwise I recommend you book your visit ahead of time and pay to go another day.
There are now a total of 22 free dates each site can use during the year.
Other than the Free Sundays from October - March, each site is offering different free dates. They are not all listed in one place. You have to do some hunting. There is a new website in Italian only, by the Italian Beniculturali (the entity that manages all of Italy's cultural sites), where you can enter the name and see the free dates. But the search term has to be in Italian. So for example, to look for dates the Colosseum is free, you need to enter "Colosseo".
Here are some of the more popular state sites that are free Rome in April (many are free on April 21, Rome's birthday, and/or April 25, Liberation Day):
The Baths of Caracalla are free on
The Galleria Borghese is free on
All four of the museums on the circuit of the Rome National Museums (Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Crypta Balbi, and Diocletian Baths) are free on
The ruins at Ostia Antica are free on
Updating for 2020
From 22 April through January 2020, you can visit the Colosseum at night. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Entry for night visits to the Colosseum is NOT part of the Roma Pass. NB - They don't usually open this on Coopculture until right before the event so if you don't see availability for when you want to go, check back!
Every Friday, from April 24 to October 23 2020, the Vatican Museums are open from 7-11pm, last entry 9:30pm.
It won't be uncrowded, although it is less crowded than during the day. And it's a magical way to spend a Friday evening.
Updating for 2020
I'm so excited this light show, Viaggio Nel Foro (Journeys Through Ancient Rome) is again coming to Rome already by mid April! This is one of the best shows you can see in Rome to really get a sense of Ancient Rome. Starting April 21 2019, you will see bleachers lined up in front of Augustus' Forum on the via Fori Imperiali. Every night there is an hour-long light show , with holograms, lasers and fabulous narration (in several languages), that brings the whole thing to life. There is a second show, all about Julius Caesar, and inside his forum. You can do both on the same night.
Raffaello - A monographic exhibition, with over two hundred masterpieces of paintings, drawings and comparative works, dedicated to Raphael on the 500th anniversary of his death.
Now through June 2, 2020.
Scuderie del Quirinale, Via XXIV Maggio 16.
Open: sun - Thu 10am - 8pm; Fri - Sat 10am – 10:30pm.
Full € 15.00; Reduced (ages 18-25) € 13.00.
Free admission up to 6 years, and anyone disabled and their care-giver, with written medical proof.
Click the photo to visit the official site.
BANKSY A VISUAL PROTEST - at the beautiful Chiostro del Bramante, March 21 - July 26, 2020.
The Chiostro del Bramante is behind Piazza Navona, on Via Arco della Pace, 5. Phone: +39 06 915 19 41 and + 39 06 68 80 90 35.
Click the picture to visit the museum's official site.
Open Mon - Fri 10am - 8pm; Sat - Sun 10am - 9pm.
Full ticket 15€ includes audioguide. No advance booking required.
The museum of the Ara Pacis (Augustus' Altar to Peace) is worth visiting all by itself.
Check out the great exhibition at the Ara Pacis Once upon a time there was Sergio Leone, with which Rome celebrates, 30 years after his death and 90 since his birth.
Now through May 2020. Exhibition only Tickets from € 11.00.
You can also visit the museum on weekend nights, and check out "L'Ara Com'Era", which means, the Altar as it Was. Using special Virtual Reality visors, you can see this amazingly intact ancient monument to Augustus, with the original colors and designs, as they probably looked 2000 years ago. Visit the website for exact hours for this exhibit as they change throughout the year.
The museum is open daily from 9:30am - 7:30pm. 10,50€ for the museum, or 12€ for the weekend/night visit "L'Ara Com'Era." See the website about eligibility for discounts.
Take in an opera or ballet.
In April 2020, the Rome Opera House will show Giacomo Puccini's Turandot and Kát’a Kabanová with music by Leoš Janáček to a libretto by Vincenc Červinka.
The Santa Cecilia hall, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, at the Rome Auditorium, is the perfect place to attend a concert. The complex is stunning, and for music lovers, the acoustics are just outstanding.
Enjoy a opera singing by Orchestra I Virtuosi dell’opera di Roma inside the church of St. Paul's within the Walls.
These wonderful opera singers put on a mini-production of La Traviata in full costume.
Immerse yourself in the art and inventions of one of history's most famous inventors and artists of all time, Leonardo da Vinci.
While you tour, you'll hear music from da Vinci's time, played on historically accurate instruments. At the end, you will be treated to a live concert.
Listen to classic arias and duets by Italian opera greats Verdi, Puccini, and Rossini, in the gorgeous Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.
A special private tour of the Princess' apartment is included.
Visit the extraordinary Capuchin Crypt, then head into the recently restored church to listen to sacred music in a gorgeous setting.Wednesday afternoons.
Fans of the Baroque will love this beautiful concert inside Borromini's stunning basilica on Piazza Navona.
You'll be treated first to a short guided tour of this masterpiece, followed by a concert of Baroque music.
Experience romance with love songs and music by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Bellini on the most exclusive terrace of Piazza Navona.
Sip your aperitif seated on the Terrace Borromini while listening Best Arias & Love Duets
Enjoy beautiful Vivaldi music in the lovely setting of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.
Tour the private apartments of the Princess Doria Pamphilj.
Enjoy private access to one of Rome's most exclusive rooftops right on Piazza Navona, while sipping your aperitivo and listening to Italian opera classics from Verdi, Rossini, and Puccini.
Sunday early evenings.
YES - one of the most innovative of all prog-rock bands, and true legends of the genre.
Don't miss their 2020 Europe tour which takes place on the 04/29/2020 at 21:00 in Auditorium Conciliazione.
Tickets from € 35.00.
Maybe it's your 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) time in Rome. Or you have more than 3 days here. Or you just want to see and do lots of fun things.
Besides the obvious must-see tourist attractions, there are lots of great things to see and do in Rome in April. Here are some ideas for your visit:
Take a cooking class
There are so many great options for taking cooking classes in Rome. From pizza-making to learning to make fresh pasta, to going shopping with the chef and making a home-cooked meal at his/her house.
We are close to so many things, like Pompeii, Ostia Antica, Tivoli, Florence and much more.
Take a bicycle tour.
You can go out onto the Appia Antica, a lovely area to tour by bike. You can also try one of Rome's newest tours, by electric bike. What a great way to see the sites, get some exercise but not get too over-exerted.
Take an art class.
This is all the rage now. You want to learn to fresco? sketch? make mosaics? How about pottery? Want to include a little wine-sipping with your art? Rome inspires! Get creative!
I've listed some of what I think are the most fascinating events in Rome in April, and most central. For a complete list of events in Rome in April, visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.
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