April in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

With spring in full swing, April starts to gets busy with outdoor events, parades, and festivals. Easter usually falls during this month and Liberation Day, on the 25th, is a national holiday.

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April in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

Early April – Marathon of Rome

The annual Maratona di Roma is an awesome chance for runners to take in the sites of Rome on a 26.2 mile course which winds past most of Rome’s best monuments. As many streets are shut down to traffic during the marathon, visitors also get a break from vehicle traffic.

Early to mid-April – Easter

Holy Week is one of the busiest times of the year to visit Italy, especially Rome and the Vatican City, which are teeming with the Christian faithful as well as spring holiday makers. There are several special masses and processions during Holy Week (Settimana Santa), from the Via Crucis procession and Good Friday services in the Colosseum to Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Tickets for these events are free but hard to get.

Of course, you don’t have to stay in the capital to experience Easter in Italy. Other cities have their own celebrations. See, for instance, Florence’s Scoppio del Carro, literally “Explosion of the Cart,” an event that dates back to medieval times. The Scoppio del Carro takes place following mass on Easter Sunday in front of the Duomo.

Florence’s traditional Easter Sunday celebration: Scoppio del Carro

Early to mid-April – VinItaly, Verona

This annual wine trade fair is a place for wine industry producers, distributors, and critics, to sample some of the best wines from Italy and the world. Wine enthusiasts can participate in VinItaly’s tastings and seminars.

April 21 – Natale di Roma, aka Rome’s Birthday

Legend has it that Rome was founded on April 21, 753 B.C., by Romulus after having defeated his brother Remus for control of the Palatine Hill and surrounding territory. So, it is on April 21 each year that Rome celebrates its birthday, also known as Natale di Roma, with historical parades and reenactments.

The main parade takes place on the Via dei Fori Imperiali and features groups in historical dress representing all the former provinces of Rome. If you can’t get enough of those faux gladiators at the Colosseum, then this is the event for you. See the Gruppo Storico Romano website for more details.

April 25 – Liberation Day

A somber day to reflect and celebrate freedom and autonomy, 25 April marks the end of Nazi occupation in Italy during World War II and the beginning of the fall of fascism throughout the country.

Anti-fascist demonstrations are common on this day in cities throughout Italy, as are services to commemorate the many Italian partisans who lost their lives trying to defeat Nazi occupation. Rome holds commemorative ceremonies at the Quirinale Palace and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Altare della Patria.

April 25 – Festa di San Marco, Venice

In Venice, Liberation Day coincides with the feast day of the city’s patron saint, San Marco. The Festa di San Marco features food, frolicking, and a procession to Saint Mark’s Basilica.

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Ciao! My name is Melanie Renzulli and I have been writing about Italy for more than 20 years. Italofile is where I share my knowledge of and passion for Italy travel, art, culture, and living.