With the clocks now long since turned forward, the Italian capital embraces a season of fertility. As the country’s agriculture moves into second gear, so too does the influx of tourists to the eternal city. Between its bountiful springtime delicacies, charming weather and renowned historical hotspots, a trip to Rome in April is nothing if not a true seasonal delight.


Visiting Rome in April

Three friends pointing away from the Arch of Constantine

Average Temperature: 46 - 68°F • Average Rainfall: 9 days/mth • Average Sunshine: 7 hours/day

With springtime now in full swing, the city of Rome really comes into its own. Famous capital of one of Europe’s most agriculturally bountiful countries, Rome in April comes into full bloom with all-new, fresh seasonal produce throughout its restaurants and stores. For those chasing a genuine taste of Italian culture and cuisine, this is undoubtedly one of the best times to visit.

While you’ll just about never see Rome in any state of quiet, its evergreen attractions bringing in everlasting appeal, April stands as one of the final months of the city’s tourism shoulder season. As summer draws closer, so too do the waves of peak-season tourists. Those choosing to get their Roman fix ahead of time will often therefore be rewarded with reduced airfare and accommodation rates, occasionally at somewhat of a significant discount against summertime prices.

Throughout spring, Rome finally begins to truly embrace its famed Mediterranean weather. Though the lows can still be somewhat chilly, the highs make for some very pleasant days of exploring the ancient city or lounging on a traditional Italian terrace, and some pretty consistent sunshine only sweetens the pot. Contrary to the popular idiom, you can probably expect sunshine and rainbows during your stay, with rainfall likely on at least a couple days per week.


Things to do in April

Ruins atop Palatine Hill

It’s unlikely that you’d be taking a trip to the eternal city without making the rounds of its most famous landmarks and attractions. Explore the vastness of the Colosseum, the world’s largest amphitheater, alongside the remarkably intact architecture of the former Roman temple known as the Pantheon.

Somewhat more reflective of a civilization now long since passed, the Roman Forum houses the bare ruins of a number of important government buildings, now mere specters of their former glory. Palatine Hill, in much the same way, is home to the most ancient part of Rome on the most central of the city’s seven hills, said to be the location of the fabled Lupercal cave.

Among the most photogenic landmarks in Rome include the astonishingly intricate Trevi Fountain, with its enormous 160-foot wide footprint, as well as the wide, eighteenth-century Spanish Steps connecting the Piazza di Spagna to the Piazza Trinità dei Monti. The attractive craftsmanship of these architectural icons make them very popular with tourists as both great photo ops and delightful places to take a break from the bustle of the city.

Equally remarkable but comparatively underrated are the likes of the 120-foot tall Pyramid of Cestius, resting place to priest and magistrate Gaius Cestius and his family from the 1st century BC. The site is a prime example of Egyptian influence in Rome in the wake of the empire’s conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, alongside landmarks such as the Flaminian Obelisk and Obelisk of Montecitorio on Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Monte Citorio, respectively.

Those with a taste for the dark and macabre may enjoy exploring somewhat of a literal underside to the famous ancient city. Stretching for miles beneath the streets of Rome, six of the Roman Catacombs are open for public tours, lined floor to ceiling with skeletons dating back almost 2,000 years.


What's On in April

Re-enactors dressed in ancient Roman armor beside the Colosseum

Spring Festival

Each year in April, Italy bursts into celebration of the spring season with the Festa della Primavera, or Spring Festival. Typically running through to June, the country organizes all manner of seasonal events and activities in an historical tradition honoring agricultural fertility.

Throughout Rome specifically, signs of the springtime festival are hard to ignore. Alongside glorious floral displays at the Orange Garden and Rose Garden on Aventine Hill, the Spanish Steps erupt with the flaming tones of pretty pink azaleas.

Rome also organizes a vast program of events to take place throughout the season, from art fairs and street markets to diverse exhibits and installations throughout the city. Theater shows, concerts and sporting events often join in on the fun, while a variety of activities and entertainment also tends to sprout up along the banks of the Tiber.


Birthday of Rome

On the closest Sunday to April 21, widely considered the anniversary of Rome’s foundation in 753 BC, the ancient city jumps back in time as the streets are taken over by hundreds of historical re-enactors from across the continent in one of the season’s most locally-anticipated events.

Parading through the historic streets of the city center, attendees come dressed in historically accurate costumes from various eras of Ancient Rome. The procession typically takes place between 10 AM and 4 PM, accompanied by a variety of re-enactments, historic events and activities throughout the city, often followed by an impressive light show and fireworks display.


Romanesco Artichoke Festival

Held each year in the nearby coastal city of Ladispoli, the Romanesco Artichoke Festival typically takes place over several days in mid-April in celebration of some of the region’s most traditionally lauded seasonal produce.

The humble Romanesco artichoke was a staple of peasant diets for centuries, before becoming widely cultivated around Rome in the wake of the Second World War. Since the war, the typically sleepy seaside resort of Ladispoli now serves as the epicenter of the artichoke industry for one week each spring, blossoming in celebration of the popular crop.

Throughout the festival, the city hosts an impressive program of events, including a traditional conference on the economics and cultivation of the artichoke, an artichoke-based cooking contest, sporting events and cultural activities, often accompanied by live music.

Fried artichokes are often handed out to attendees, while many local restaurants serve special, fixed menus throughout the season featuring an assortment of artichoke-based dishes. Elaborate artichoke sculptures line the city streets in every imaginable arrangement, with a prize awarded to the most creative piece.

Other such artichoke-centered festivals also take place in other Italian towns around April, but the Ladispoli is easily the biggest and most important of them all. The Romanesco Artichoke Festival is well worth visiting for those keen to explore a niche yet exciting aspect of Italian culinary culture.