Are you planning a trip to Rome in April and not sure what to expect? From the weather to packing tips, we are about to reveal everything you need to know about visiting Rome in spring.
A little like March in Rome, April, too, is a transition month, albeit slightly warmer. Spring has fully started and while the weather is less unstable than the previous month, it’s still not t-shirt warm. Obviously, it’s not summer hot either, so walking long hours is a pleasant activity as it involves no sweating and no panting.
There are many things to do in April in Rome and our easy guide wants to be your go-to source to plan an unforgettable holiday.
Table of Contents
- 1 Weather in Rome in April
- 2 Is April a good time to visit Rome?
- 3 4 reasons to visit Rome in April
- 4 How crowded is Rome in April?
- 5 Important dates and events in Rome in April 2023
- 6 What to do in April in Rome
- 6.1 See the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross)
- 6.2 Celebrate Easter
- 6.3 Go for a picnic on Easter Monday
- 6.4 Join the party for the Birthday of Rome
- 6.5 Enjoy Hanami
- 6.6 Visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill
- 6.7 Join a cooking class
- 6.8 Eat gelato
- 6.9 Enjoy dinner with a view
- 6.10 Take a day trip
- 7 What to eat in Rome in April
- 8 What to pack for Rome in April
- 9 What to wear in April in Rome
Weather in Rome in April
Does it rain a lot in Rome in April? Is Rome warm in April? As I mentioned earlier, April is a transition month, so you can have both warm and chillier days. As temperatures are gradually increasing, April is warmer than March, with the highest reaching 19°C/66°F in the early afternoon and the lowest at 9°C/48°F at night and early morning.
There are also some showers here and there, with an average of about a week for the whole month. This really depends on the year, sometimes in April it barely rains, and sometimes you can find two days of continuous rain.
Is April a good time to visit Rome?
April is one of the best months to visit Rome and here we are going to tell you why. The weather, the colors, the light, and the events make Rome a fantastic destination to visit in spring. April in Rome is a great month because this is usually when is Easter, one of the most important Catholic celebrations and what attracts some of the first bigger crowds of the year.
4 reasons to visit Rome in April
- The weather. I love the April weather in Rome. The cold of the winter is gone and even though you might still find scattered showers, the days will be mainly sunny and warmer.
- The colors. With flowers blossoming in the trees and from all the local balconies, Rome in spring is full of bright colors that make it even prettier than it usually is.
- The light. Photographers know what I’m talking about. Not just the longer days but the brighter and more photography-friendly light makes April in Rome a terrific moment to visit.
- Easter. This is what attracts the first crowds of the season. The “call” of the pope is very heartfelt among practicing Catholics and Easter is a major celebration any devotee would like to do in Rome at least once in a lifetime.
- The parks. It’s always nice to go to a park in Rome, but in winter they can become quite cold. Spring is a lovely time to have a picnic.
How crowded is Rome in April?
The slumber of February in Rome is a far memory and even though March started to make the local tourism industry warm up for the new season, April in Rome is when things start to heat up.
Important dates and events in Rome in April 2023
- April 2nd – Palm Sunday/Domenica delle Palme. While it’s not as spectacular as in other parts of Italy in April like Sardinia, Palm Sunday is an important Catholic occurrence, so if you are curious how it’s held, you can book your spots in the Vatican, usually Saint Peter’s Square.
- April 7th – Good Friday/Venerdì Santo. The Friday before Easter is not a bank holiday and schools and offices are open, but it’s when the Via Crucis is organized. This year 2023, the Way of the Cross will take place in the Colosseum as it has always been.
- April 9th – Easter Sunday/Pasqua. This is a holiday all over the country and also in Rome. This means that offices and schools are closed and also shops in residential and non-touristy areas, but in the city center, shops for clothes, accessories, and similar will definitely be open. Most restaurants will also be open.
- April 10th – Easter Monday/Lunedì dell’Angelo or Pasquetta. This is also a holiday and is yet another occasion Romans happily seize to go out in nature. A picnic for Pasquetta is common across the country so you can join the locals wherever you are if you have decided to spend Easter in Italy.
- April 21st – Birthday of Rome/Natale di Roma. Every year on April 21st in Rome is a big festival for the city’s foundation. It’s not a holiday so offices and schools are open, but you might want to join the celebrations in the city center.
- April 25th – Liberation Day. In Italy, this day is a holiday and schools are closed. There will be official parades in the city center but apart from that, Romans will rather go out of the city especially if there is nice weather, or to a restaurant if they stay in Rome.
What to do in April in Rome
See the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross)
This year, Pope Francis will perform the traditional ritual of walking the stations of the Via Crucis again in the Colosseum at 9.15 pm. The event starts in Piazza Venezia with a procession where devotees can take part and stay in Via dei Fori Imperiali for the ritual of the Way of the Cross.
Inside the Colosseum, the Pope carries the Cross from Station to Station during the ritual of the Way of the Cross. At each Station, he stops for prayers. The ritual is very spectacular and spiritual, but the public is not allowed in the Colosseum or Roman Forum. You can take part in it from Via dei Fori Imperiali and see it through a maxi screen.
If you are a practicing Catholic and want to celebrate Easter in Rome in the Vatican, I recommend booking your spot well ahead as even though Saint Peter’s Square is huge, the crowds of worshippers and tourists are even bigger.
The Pope celebrates the Easter Mass in Saint Peter’s Square on Easter Sunday at 10 am and at 12 pm, he gives the crowd the Urbi et Orbi blessing in the same Piazza San Pietro.
For Easter, Romans like to go out for lunch and restaurants offer a few options for tasting menus. If you want to join the locals, definitely book your table in advance to avoid finding everywhere fully booked.
Go for a picnic on Easter Monday
Easter Monday or Pasquetta in Rome and pretty much all over Italy is the day for picnics and nature. Romans often go out of the city or stay in a park. You will see Rome’s parks full of people picnicking and also the towns and natural landmarks around the city packed with hikers and families.
If it’s a nice day, I guarantee that places like Lake Bracciano and Fiumicino will be very crowded. Join the locals and take a day trip to soak in nature and discover the beautiful sceneries and landscapes of the Lazio region.
Join the party for the Birthday of Rome
The 21st of April in Rome is a big day. This is the date that has been set as the birthday of Rome in 753 BC. To celebrate Rome’s foundation, the local municipality organizes open-air shows, theater performances, period masquerades, and sometimes even fireworks from Aventine Hill.
Usually, the place to see the celebrations for the Natale di Roma are held in the Circus Maximus, so if you are in Rome in April, definitely this is something interesting to attend.
The beginning of April is when you can see a slice of Japan in Rome with Hanami, the scenic blossoming of the cherry trees (sakura). The best place to enjoy Hanami in Rome is Lago dell’EUR in the EUR southern district where in 1959 were planted around 3000 trees donated by Japan to Italy. You can enjoy a picnic there and take part in the celebrations organized on weekends in early April.
The EUR, however, is not the only place to see Hanami in Rome. Other gardens where you can admire the beautiful white and pink hues of blossoming sakura include Orto Botanico in Trastevere, the Garden of the Japanese Institute in Via Antonio Gramsci, and parks like the wonderful Villa Pamphilj in Monteverde and Parco degli Acquedotti south of Rome.
Visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill
The Colosseum and the park of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are great places to visit in April in Rome. I suggest, however, entering these landmarks not during the Easter week as they will be really packed. If you are only staying in Rome for Easter, I highly recommend you book your tickets online or you will queue forever.
Spring is the best season to visit the archaeological park of the Colosseum because the weather is perfect to walk around the giant area with the freezing days being gone and the suffocating heat not here yet. It does get busy, but you can either book a skip-the-line ticket online or a private Colosseum tour that includes also fast-track VIP access.
Join a cooking class
Any time is a good time to learn to cook, so why not join a cooking class in Rome in April? This is the best occasion to go back home with a great deal of knowledge on how to make pasta, pizza, sauces, Roman traditional dishes, even sweets like tiramisu and gelato.
We took a fantastic pasta-making class in Trastevere and learned to make egg pasta, the amatriciana sauce, and gelato from scratch with a professional chef.
This is a lovely experience where you can learn a lot and have great fun with other tourists. They are organized in the most different places from restaurants to private homes to rooftop terraces.
If the cold winter months scared you off, April in Rome is a great time to tuck into gelato. Cream flavors, different types of chocolate, fruit sorbets, crunchy, salty, sour, and more, Rome’s gelaterias are ready to put on display their best creations and original combinations for the new incoming season.
On a sunny warm day, after lunch, gelato is the best dessert you can have, as long as you pick an artisan one and not a chemical-laden product. If you are not sure where to find the sweet treat that will ensure an unforgettable experience, peruse our continually updated guide to the best gelato in Rome.
And if you don’t know how to order it, make sure you read our handy guide to the most common gelato flavors in Italian!
Enjoy dinner with a view
With the spring and nice weather approaching, booking your meal at a panoramic place is definitely a boost to your dining experience in Rome in April. For lunch or dinner, you can pick one of the best rooftop restaurants in Rome, while if you are planning a night out and like the idea of a cocktail con vista, check out the city’s coolest rooftop bars.
Some will be set up on a terrace outside but usually heated if the day is still chilly, and some will also comprehend an area inside where you can still enjoy the view but are not cold.
Take a day trip
Easter Monday or not, April in Rome is a fantastic time for a day trip. The days are long and the weather is absolutely lovely for a walk or a hike out of the city.
There are many great day trips from Rome you can plan, but in spring, some of the best places to visit are Lake Bracciano, Civita di Bagnoregio, Parco di Veio, Parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo near Viterbo, and the gorgeous Monte Terminillo massif in the Rieti province about 100 km from Rome.
If you are interested in history, make your way to Ostia Antica ancient Roman city, Cerveteri for its Etruscan necropolis, and the UNESCO sites of Tivoli, Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa.
What to eat in Rome in April
- Artichokes. Spring is the season for artichokes in Italy and in Rome you will find them all over the place. From deep-fried carciofi alla giudìa in the Jewish quarter to carciofo alla romana in traditional Roman restaurants, give them a try as they are delicious.
- Spaghetti carbonara. Hearty and delicious, it’s always a good time to go on a quest for the best carbonara in Rome.
- Vignarola. This is a Roman pasta recipe typical of spring because filled with seasonal legumes and veggies such as fava beans, artichokes, peas, green onions, and mint. Admittedly, not many restaurants include this Roman dish in their menu. I ordered it at Cesare al Casaletto once and loved it, so if you find it, give it a try.
- Abbacchio al forno. This is oven-roasted lamb with potatoes or other veggies.
- Asparagus. You can find it as a side dish but often to season pasta or risotto. Asparagus is a common ingredient very popular in spring in Rome.
What to pack for Rome in April
- Travel documents. National ID for EU citizens and passport with a visa for other nationalities.
- Umbrella. Like in March, also April can reserve us a few showers, and having your own foldable umbrella in your bag will prevent you from being soaked all of a sudden.
- Sunglasses. That’s right, in Rome in April, the sun starts being very bright and a pair of sunglasses will come in very handy. All Italians will wear it anyway like always, so don’t worry about feeling the odd one out.
- Sunscreen. If you have fair skin, Rome in April might require sunscreen
- Backpack/crossbody bag. For sightseeing, I suggest a crossbody bag because backpacks are not allowed inside some of the landmarks in Rome such as the Colosseum. If you are planning some picnics or day trips, I think a backpack is more convenient. My suggestion is to pack them both.
- Pajama/nightgown. For more comfort and if you feel cold at night, even though on cold nights in Rome in April the heating of your room will likely still be on.
- Skincare products. Cleanser, toner, day and night moisturizers, as well as eye cream are never included in hotels’ free toiletries unless you are in a very high-end 5-star Rome hotel so packing your routine products is your best bet. If you only have hand luggage or have limited space in your suitcase, you might want to transfer some in travel-size containers.
What to wear in April in Rome
- Long and short-sleeve tops. This is needed for layering that in Rome in April is still recommended
- Long-sleeve tops. Great for layering and when it’s hot, they are perfect even without any outer garment.
- Jumpers. In the evening or at the beginning of the month, you might still need to wear jumpers or even a sweater.
- Blouses/button-down shirts. I love to wear blouses in spring in Rome. They are versatile and great for layering. If it’s colder, I wear a thin underwear top underneath and a jacket on top.
- Jacket. A jacket is essential in Rome in April, how warm it really depends on your weather tolerance. I’m pretty sensitive to cold but in April I wear a mid-season jacket and towards the end of the month a lighter spring jacket.
- T-shirts. Rome in April is not exactly the time to wear t-shirts, but if you think you don’t suffer the breeze much, on sunny days in the park or sightseeing in the city center, early afternoons might call for lighter clothing.
- Walking shoes. Comfortable shoes like sneakers or runners are a must.
- Comfortable trousers. Loose cotton or linen trousers are a good option.
- Fancy outfit. A fancier outfit is recommended if you are attending some dinner or religious celebration.
- Ballerina or décolleté shoes. If you are moving by car/taxi, you can wear high-heel décolleté, but if you are walking or using public transport, I suggest you opt for a nicer pair of ballerinas to match your fancy clothes.
- Shawl. Probably a scarf is too heavy for April in Rome, but a shawl is a good idea to throw over your shoulders in the evening or when the weather is not too warm.