What to Do in Rome in April

This post covers things to do in Rome in April, including free, nighttime, as well as family-friendly events and activities, updated for 2020. 

 

 


TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN ROME IN APRIL

The following section will provide information about some of the best things to do in Rome in April. In addition to this list, you may also want to consider the following ideas:

Don’t forget that some of the best attractions and activities available are actually included at a discount with several Rome tourist passes.


1) Go to a Concert

There are a lot of great venues in Rome and the city tends to attract a lot of notable musical artists

That said, it’s worth noting that most of the musicians who come to this ancient city have a loyal fanbase in Italy, so visitors from out-of-town might not recognize all of them. 

Even so, you may want to consider going to one of the following concerts in April:

 

 

If you’re in the mood for a different kind of musical performance, make sure to check this list of concerts in Rome.

NOTE: Check Rome tourist passes to see if they either include one of these concerts for free or offer a discount on tickets!


2) Go to a Football Game

In Rome, Football (or Soccer) is one of the most popular sports.

They have two clubs that perform in the Olympic Stadium, and they will be facing off against various opponents throughout the month of April

If you’ve got any sports fans in your family, this could be an excellent activity.

 

 

AS Roma

SS Lazio

With a new game to attend each week, chances are that most visitors will have an opportunity to see how they play football in Rome. 

Even if you’re not a huge fan of this sport, you might still want to see a match just to discover how this city supports their team! You can find tickets for all the matches here.


3) See an Opera/Musical

No matter when you choose to visit Rome, chances are there will be more than a few great operas and musicals to see.

Here are just a few of the more notable shows that will be available this April:

 

 

  • La Traviata – St. Paul’s Within the Walls will be hosting this classic operatic performance every Thursday and Saturday night in April. This show will include a choir, an orchestra and a ballet.
  • Cirque du Soleil – This hit theatrical show will be making its way to Rome during April, telling the story of their latest performance entitled Totem
  • Teatro dell’Opera – As one of the most popular theatres in Rome, it shouldn’t be surprising that they will have two great shows to see this month: Turnadot and Katya Kabanova.

For even more opportunities to spend a night at the theatre, check this list of theatrical performances in Rome.

TIP: Some of these shows may be included for free or at a discount with a Rome tourist pass.


4) Take a Food Tour

Whether you’re traveling with picky eaters or you just want to learn the culinary history of the city, these outings are a delicious opportunity to discover the best food in Rome.

 

With options ranging from wine tastings to pizza-making, there’s a tour here for visitors of all ages!


5) Take a Sightseeing Tour

April is a great time of year to visit the famous landmarks of this ancient city. Thankfully, there are a lot of great tours you can take which will take you to these locations. 

 

 

You can expect to visit the following sites on most outings:

Some of these are actually pay-what-you-want tours, so you don’t even have to worry about your budget.

If you’re looking to save money, consider taking either a self-guided or an audio tour of Rome.

Both of these services are free or affordable, so you don’t have to worry about spending any money on either activity.


6) Consider Getting a Tourist Pass

If you’re looking to visit some of the most popular attractions in the city, a tourist pass can help you save a lot of money (20% – 50%) off admission prices.

The following attractions are discounted with most of these services:

 

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Anyone planning to visit even a few of these locations should seriously think about getting a tourist pass.

Travelers who use these passes for at least 4-5 activities per day will enjoy the biggest savings!

For more information about how to use each service, visit our post providing details about each Rome tourist pass.


7) See the Spanish Steps in Bloom

Every spring, the Spanish Steps of Rome are lined with azaleas, bringing an incredible natural color to the landmark.

As a result, this is actually one of the best times to visit the landmark and spend some time in the area. 

In addition to the steps, there are also fountains and other notable sites to see in the area.

Once you’re done looking around, you might want to hop into one of the nearby stores and do some shopping!

 

 

The attraction is entirely free to visit and it’s a great place to stop and take a rest before or after seeing nearby landmarks such as Villa Borghese or Trevi Fountain.

For more great activities that won’t cost anything, check our free things to do section below.


8) Celebrate Easter in Rome

Vatican City is located in the heart of Rome, so it probably won’t surprise you that Easter is typically a very popular holiday around here.

There are several different ways to celebrate, including making a trip to St. Peter’s Basilica. Sadly, one thing you won’t be able to do on this day is to visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.

 

 

You can expect the pope to make an appearance at St. Peter’s Square on Easter, which is an excellent chance to see him outside of his usual appearances.

That said, if you miss his Easter presentation, there’s no need to fret, as he usually makes at least two appearances every week which don’t cost a thing to attend.

For more details on these opportunities, read our post covering how to see the pope. Alternatively, you can also find more information about affordable activities in our free things to do section.


9) Take Advantage of Io Vado Al Museo

What was once known as Domenica al Museo has since been enhanced!

This event is intended to give everyone the opportunity to visit some of the more popular museums and landmarks in Rome without worrying about ticket prices.

In years past this service was only available on the first Sunday of every month, but it has since expanded to provide even more free days throughout the year.

 

 

Here are just a few of the more notable sites included as part of Io Vado Al Museo:

While most locations still adhere to the model of providing free admission on the first Sunday of the month, some take a different approach. Check the Io Vado Al Museo website for more details.

If you don’t feel like waiting for this free day, you can get admission for a much lower price by using a Rome tourist pass.


10) Honor the Liberation of Italy

Just two weeks after Easter, the entire country of Italy celebrates Liberation Day on April 25th.

This holiday is held to honor the end of Nazi occupation during WWII and the end of fascist rule in Italy. 

Since it is a national holiday, you can expect shops, banks, and schools to be closed. Thankfully, most major tourist sites will remain open to the public.

 

 

The celebration of Liberation Day will include a parade from the Colosseum to Porta San Paolo which begins in the morning. 

Most people participating in the activity will either dress in the colors of the Italian flag or hold up a flag of their own to honor the country’s liberation from fascism.

You can also expect a large celebration at the Altar of the Fatherland near Piazza Venezia.

This famous Italian monument is a popular place to visit on Liberation Day, and you can expect the Italian president and other government officials to pay tribute to the Unknown Soldier at this time.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO

In this section, we will discuss some of the more interesting things you can see and do in Rome during the month of April.

Don’t forget to check our other sections for additional ideas such as self-guided walking tours, celebrating both Natale di Roma and Liberation Day, seeing the Spanish Steps, visiting the Trevi Fountain and enjoying the view at an Observation Deck.

 

 

Alternatively, you’ll find even more great activities that won’t cost you a thing on our full post covering free things to do in Rome.


Visit the Rome Rose Garden

Although it’s a bit early to see most of the roses in bloom, this is still an excellent time to visit the garden. There won’t be many people here, and chances are that you’ll find at least a few flowers blooming in the area.

While you’re in the area, you can also enjoy a few other free sites such as the Cavalieri di Malta Keyhole at the top of the hill. 

This keyhole lines up perfectly with the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the distance, making it one of the best views in all of Rome.

The historic Circus Maximus is located at the bottom of the hill, and if you’re planning to take the metro to get here, chances are that this is where you’ll stop first. 

There’s also a great playground for kids just a few blocks south at September’s Resistance Park.


Visit the Vatican Museums

This is one location that isn’t included in the Domenica al Museo program, but they do offer free admission on the last Sunday of the month. 

If you’re looking for a way to save money on tickets to the Vatican Museums, this is definitely the best opportunity in April.

These museums include some of the most historic artwork and artifacts in the city of Rome. This is also the site of the Sistine Chapel, which contains arguably the most famous work of Michelangelo.

Needless to say, you can expect bigger crowds than usual on this day, so you should arrive ahead of time to make sure you can get inside and experience as much of the Vatican Museums as possible.

If you’re looking for another way to save some money on tickets for this attraction, it’s important to note that admission is included with every major Rome tourist pass in the city.


Take a Walk Down Appian Way

This ancient road is one of the most historic locations in all of Rome, and it is entirely free to enjoy. 

There are several notable landmarks along the way, including the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella – which offers free admission on Domenica al Museo.

Although you can walk this path throughout the year without much trouble, the spring is an especially good time to make the trip. 

In April, Wild Wisteria, flowers, and other greenery are beginning to blossom, bringing a lot of the ruins in this area to life once more.

While most of the catacombs and mausoleums along the way charge for admission, many landmarks are easily visible from Appian Way. 

In addition to the professionally guided tours available in this area, there is a free self-guided tour you can take and we provide a handy guide full of things to see along Via Appia.

NOTE: Big Bus tours provide a stop on Appian Way. If you’re planning to use a hop-on-hop-off bus service, this could be one of the best ways to get here.


Visit Villa Borghese

There are a lot of great things for families to see and do in Villa Borghese, and spring is one of the best times to visit. With all of the trees and flowers blooming, this will be one of the best places in Rome to enjoy a picnic.

There are a lot of free activities you can enjoy in this park, including more than one museum that offers open admission to the public. If you’re coming with a family, you can visit the playground near Tempio di Esculapio. 

This landmark is actually quite beautiful, and you can enjoy views of the temple from the water thanks to nearby boat rentals that are very affordable.

In addition to everything else in Villa Borghese, you’ll also find several fountains, porticos, and ruins in the park that you can enjoy for free. If you want to see these sites, consider taking our self-guided tour.

NOTE: While the Borghese Gallery does take part in Domenica al Museo, it’s important to note that you will need to secure your spot with a €2 booking fee. This is still a pretty good deal, but it is not technically free.


See the Pantheon in the Rain

Although April represents the beginning of spring, chances are that it will still be raining quite a bit in Rome. Thankfully, that’s not a terrible thing, because a rainy day is a perfect time to see the Pantheon. 

This landmark has an open roof that allows weather such as rain and snow to fall in from above through an oculus. 

While it might not seem like a big deal, the sight of rain falling into the Pantheon can actually be quite beautiful. Some visitors have suggested this is one of the best times to visit the historic site.

The best part about this activity is that it’s still free to enjoy. There have been talks of charging admission in the future, but for the time being, you can enter the Pantheon without worrying about your budget.

In addition to the oculus, there are a lot of great sites to see while you’re here. For more information on what to see and do, make sure to read our full post about visiting the Pantheon.

NOTE: This landmark is pretty close to other historic locations such as Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain. If you’re interested in doing some sightseeing, make sure to add the Pantheon to your trip!

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

This section will cover some of the best things to do in Rome after the sun goes down in April. Don’t forget to check our other sections for more great ideas like going to see a musical/opera, taking a food tour or going to a concert.

 

 

If you’re looking for even more great activities after dark, make sure to read our full post covering the best things to do at night in Rome.


Visit the Vatican After Dark

If you want to have an extra special experience at the Vatican Museums, consider a private tour you can take after hours. There are a few companies providing this service, and the Vatican themselves also offer what they call “out of hours” tours you can take at night.

This is an excellent opportunity to see some of the most historic artwork and artifacts in all of Rome without crowds. Aside from the commentary provided by your tour guide, you’ll enjoy a quiet, peaceful walk through the Vatican Museums.

TIP: If you’re looking for a more affordable option, don’t forget that the Vatican Museums will be open to the public on the last Sunday in April.


Visit the Trevi Fountain

There are a lot of great fountains in Rome, but the Trevi Fountain is not only one of the biggest in the city, it’s also well lit after dark. As a result, you can actually see this landmark at pretty much any time of the day – or night!

Some visitors actually suggest that the Trevi Fountain looks even better when the sun goes down. The structure certainly seems to take on a new life when lit from below as shadows are cast in several different directions.

This historic site is located within walking distance of several popular theaters, so you can easily follow up a musical/opera with a bit of sightseeing. 

You’ll also find locations such as the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona nearby.

Needless to say, it’s pretty easy to fit a nighttime trip to the Trevi Fountain into any itinerary. Most people only spend 15-30 minutes in the area, so you don’t even have to worry about this activity taking much time.


See the Catacombs After Dark

While some might find it a bit spooky, there are some companies who offer the opportunity to visit the Roman catacombs – including Capuchin Crypt – after dark.

In addition to a guided tour of the site, you’ll also enjoy special access to certain areas and private round-trip transportation between each location included on the tour.

If you’ve ever wanted to discover the Bone Chapel or see Rome’s underground areas, this is one of the best ways to do so!

Purchase tickets for Rome Catacombs After Hours tour or learn more.


Discover the Colosseum at Night

As you may know, few Roman landmarks are as historic and beloved as the Colosseum, drawing thousands of visitors every day – but did you know that you can visit after dark?

Some tourist companies provide special access to the Colosseum after the sun goes down, including access to the underground where gladiators were kept and the arena floor!

Your tour guide will also show you incredible views of the Roman Forum from a special location, taking time to point out other sites such as Capitoline Hill as well.

Purchase tickets for the VIP Colosseum at Night tour or learn more.

 


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FAMILY-FRIENDLY

The following section will provide several fun activities you can do with your family while in Rome during the month of April. 

Keep a lookout in our other sections for ideas such as seeing a football game, going to a musical, spending some time at Villa Borghese, taking advantage of Io Vado Al Museo or celebrating Easter.

 

 

If you’re looking for even more ideas, make sure to read our full post covering things to do with kids in Rome.


Pick Flowers at TuliPark

What if I told you there’s actually a park in Rome that is designed for the purpose of picking flowers? TuliPark is a Dutch garden with 75 different varieties and over 300,000 tulips you can choose from.

When you arrive, a guide will introduce you to the grounds and explain how to collect the tulips. While you are welcome to pick flowers here, you have to be careful about how to do so. Once you’ve finished collecting them, you can head to their gazebos to wrap them to take home with you.

It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to pick expertly cultivated tulips with the family, and this could be a great activity for younger children. 

TuliPark is located on the outer edge of the city, so you should prepare for a short 30-45 minute trip out to the area.


See a Puppet Show

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly alternative to the typical musical or opera, consider taking your children to San Carlino Puppet Theatre instead. This wonderful location offers at least 1-2 shows per month, and April is no exception.

The month will start off with a circus show featuring magic and other fun performances on April 6th – 7th. Beginning on April 13th, they will have a production of the 3 Little Pigs, a classic fairy tale that your kids will enjoy.

The San Carlino Puppet Theatre is close to sites such as Villa Borghese, Piazza del Popolo, and the Explora Children’s Museum. If you’re planning to visit any of these locations, you might want to think about going to a puppet show as well!


Take the Kids to the Zoo

With the winter finally over, this is an excellent time to take your children to Bioparco di Roma. Located at the northern end of Villa Borghese, this zoo has a lot of great animals to see and other activities to enjoy. 

They even have a museum you can visit for free with admission and one of the best playgrounds in the whole city.

If you’re looking for even more to do while you’re in the area, consider visiting the Museum of Zoology just outside of Bioparco di Roma. There is also a park with ancient ruins from Rome’s history. 

You may also want to visit Tempio di Esculapio which is just South of the zoo, as there is a playground nearby for your kids to enjoy.

For more details about Bioparco di Roma and other activities in the park, make sure to read our post about Villa Borghese.

Tickets are included for free with some Rome tourist passes.


Take in the View

Believe it or not, there are a lot of great places to get a good view of the entire city. They may not all be traditional observation decks, but if you’re looking for a picturesque vantage point to really capture your family’s trip to Rome, consider one of the following opportunities:

Terrazza del Pincio – Located at the Southern end of the Pincio Promenade and looking out over Piazza del Popolo, this terrace offers one of the best views of the city. 

You can see St. Peter’s Dome off in the distance, in addition to several other notable sites. This site is just South of Villa Borghese.

Castel Sant’Angelo – This historic building is right down the road from Vatican City, and it offers one of the best views of St. Peter’s Basilica. Simply head to the roof to get a good look at the Vatican!

Aventine Hill – Although it’s across the river and closer to sites like the Colosseum, this hill provides some of the most unique views of St. Peter’s Basilica. 

In particular, you can see the Dome of St. Peter’s through the Cavalieri di Malta Keyhole located at the top of the hill, which is definitely an interesting experience.

These are just a few of the places where you can get a good look at Rome, but there are many other locations throughout the city. If you want to get a good picture of the family, keep these locations in mind!

Tickets to some of these sites are provided for free with Rome tourist passes.

 


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