Spring in Italy is one of the most beautiful seasons in a land that never fails to impress. This makes it the perfect time to visit the country. Not only can you witness the spectacular cherry blossoms and the blooming wildflowers, but you can avoid the big crowds of tourists and save money on accommodation and other activities.
Airfares to Italy are much cheaper in the spring than they are during the summer and all of the local businesses and attractions have reopened after the winter, during which time many close their doors until the tourists return. Temperatures in the spring are also very pleasant, particularly in the Southern provinces of the country.
When Is Spring In Italy?
Spring in Italy begins in March and continues until the end of May. During the early part of spring, the weather can be a little unpredictable and so the best time to visit is from the beginning of April until the end of May.
There’s an Italian saying, ‘Marzo e pazzo, Aprile dolce dormire’, which translates as ‘March is crazy, April is sweet sleep.’ This Italian idiom refers to Mars, the Roman god of war, which brought conflict and change; whereas April is said to be a sleepy and relaxing month by local Italians, probably due to the emergence of the cherry blossoms and the returning warm weather.
The Best Things To Do In Italy During The Spring.
The following are some of the best things to do in Italy during Spring:
Visit The Cities.
The spring, when the temperatures rise and the local attractions reopen after the winter, is a fantastic time to visit Italian cities. The daytime temperatures are absolutely perfect for sightseeing and you won’t have to wait in long lines to get into the museums and other tourist attractions. Many of the new, major exhibitions reopen for the year and even tour guides will be charging less for their services.
Prices in the spring are also a lot lower than they are in the summer months. This applies to hotels, restaurants near tourist hotspots and even many local attractions. The one exception to this rule is the week around Easter when prices tend to spike with the influx of visitors.
Easter always takes place on a Sunday and occurs between the 22nd March and 25th April; so it’s worth checking in advance if you want to save on accommodation and other expenses.
Taste The Spring Season’s Bounty.
As winter comes to an end there is a whole range of foods and wines that start to reappear in local shops. Freshly pressed olive oil, artichokes, chestnuts, apricots, figs, asparagus and strawberries are all back on the menu by late March to mid-April.
On top of the lovely fruits and vegetables that are available in the spring, you can also taste the ‘vino novello’, or ‘young wine. This is the first opportunity that you’ll get to taste the latest wine from the previous year’s harvest. Vino Novello is light and fruity and is produced and sold all through Italy during the springtime.
City Gardens And Parks.
The city gardens and parks boast a beautiful display of blossoming trees and flowers in the spring. Although the avenues of cherry trees in full bloom certainly steal the show, you can also appreciate citrus, fig and pomegranate trees in blossom as well as an enchanting range of delightful flowers in well-manicured park beds.
Every city has its own special parks and gardens that you can visit. City gardens usually close during the winter but reopen their gates to the public again when spring arrives. In Rome, the Rose Garden, next to the Circo Massimo, is a stunning place to visit while the Iris Garden at Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking Florence is a must-see.
Many towns and cities in Italy have spring festivals to celebrate the emergence of the flowers and blossoms. But no matter where you are in Italy, your local parks and gardens will be looking at their very best in the spring months.
So if you’re in Italy during the spring, why not take a picnic at the local park and take in the natural beauty that surrounds you at this unique time of year? It’s also a great time to visit the flower markets when the stalls will be bursting with freshly picked, seasonal bouquets of flowers.
Visit The Coast Of Southern Italy.
The Amalfi Coast, on Italy’s Southwestern coast, is pleasant and warm during the spring and just like in the cities, you won’t be swamped with the summer crowds of tourists. Similarly, Sicily is magnificent during the spring and you’ll also be able to take in the fragrance and beauty of the local almond trees in bloom.
The Southern coastal regions of Italy are beautiful during the spring with temperatures averaging about 10 to 20 Degrees Celsius. In fact, it’s usually warm enough to swim in the sea. The beaches are also empty and you’ll be able to get a hotel room for almost half the price as it is during the summer months!
Take A Road Trip In Tuscany.
Tuscany is one of Italy’s most iconic provinces and consequently it’s often packed with tourists during the high season. However, during the spring you’ll have the place to yourself and be able to explore the galleries and museums of Florence without having to wait in line. If you take a road trip around Tuscany the main cities that you should make sure to visit include Florence, of course, as well as Pisa and Siena.
As you travel around the province you can stop off at local vineyards to taste the freshly made Novello vino and take in the picturesque pastoral scenery, full of wildflowers beneath a bright spring sky. While you’re in Florence, you must ensure to visit the Villa Bardini and Boboli Gardens where the flowers are in full bloom.
Extreme Sports In Trentino.
If you want a more adrenaline-fueled experience in Italy during the spring then Trentino, in the Dolomites, is a paradise for extreme sports and exciting adventures. From paragliding to white water rafting, kayaking to climbing and hiking, Trentino has a huge amount to offer the adrenaline enthusiasts!
For a slightly more sedate adventure in Trentino, you can go E-biking around the spectacular trails that surround the impressive Dolomites mountains. While you are in the region, you can also drop by the numerous small towns and villages and enjoy the traditional cuisine in small, family-run restaurants.
Of course, you don’t have to be an expert to join in the fun because your guide will ensure that you remain safe during the activities. There are also plenty of biking and hiking trails, as well as white water rafting runs, that are suitable for people of all ages and abilities.
Lake Garda In Spring.
Spring at Lake Garda is a magical time of year. The natural world is bursting back into life, the weather is warm and fresh and the hotels are very cheap compared to other times of the year. The spring is the ideal time to explore the lake shores by bike or go hiking in the hills. You can also visit the local towns to see the unique churches, museums and galleries and sample some of Italy’s best cuisine in the lakeshore restaurants.
While you’re at Lake Garda it’s also worth visiting some of the events that celebrate the food and wine of the region. For example, the ‘Fish and Chef’ gourmet event in Bardolino is a wonderful celebration of local fish, oil and wine products.
Festivals And Events In Spring In Italy.
There are countless festivals and celebrations that take place all across Italy during the spring months. From major events, such as the Easter celebrations in Rome, to smaller, quirky festivals in rural provinces, there’s a surprising range of celebrations that often commemorate unique local traditions, Saints or historical events.
For instance, the infamous ‘Frog Race’, in Fermignano, takes place on the first Sunday after Easter and is something you’re very unlikely to see anywhere else in the world. In this unusual event, known locally as the ‘Palio della Rana’, the contestants must race 170 meters to the finish line with a frog in a pushcart, called a ‘carriola’. The first contestant, or ‘scarroliante’, to cross the finish line is the winner but if the frog jumps out of the pushcart during the race the contestant is disqualified!
Of course, even though the smaller local events are often quirky and unusual, it’s still worth experiencing some of the country’s major springtime celebrations to get a real sense of Italian culture.
Important Spring Festivals In Italy.
The following are the most important spring festivals in Italy:
Easter Week – Rome.
The majority of Italians are Catholic and so Easter is one of the most important events in the calendar. Easter week is a huge celebration that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and there’s no bigger event than Easter week in Rome, the heart of world Christianity.
The celebrations in Rome are led by the Pope and the highlight is undoubtedly the Easter Mass in St Peter’s Basilica. However, as well as the more pious side of the week’s celebrations, you can also enjoy an abundance of luxurious foods as the month of lent comes to an end.
Easter Week – Florence.
Florence has spectacular, if not unusual, Easter celebrations that are focused around the ‘Scoppio del Carro’, or the ‘explosion of the cart’. This is an amazing display during which an ornate cart bursts into an impressive display of fireworks. On Easter morning, there’s also a parade of people dressed in medieval costumes and on Easter Monday, known as ‘La Pasquetta’, there’s a full day of festivities, food stalls, wine and revelry.
The Feast Day Of San Marco In Venice.
Each year, on the 25th of April, Venice celebrates its patron saint, San Marco. On this day, which is also known as the ‘rosebud festival’, men give a single red rose to the woman they love. There are also parades through St Mark’s Square and a general levity fills the air.
Venice is a romantic place at any time of the year but on the Feast Day of San Marco, you can spend a truly enchanting time with your partner. Naturally, in the evening, you can treat yourself to a magnificent dinner in a beautiful Venetian restaurant.
The Sagra Del Pesce In Camogli.
On the second Sunday of May, the tiny fishing village of Camogli, to the South of Genoa, hosts a massive ‘Sagra del Pesce’, or ‘Fish Feast’. Located right on the Italian Riviera, the small village provides a huge feast of free fish for the visitors! Throughout the day, fishermen cook and fry fish in huge saucepans that are often as large as 5 meters wide. After the fish is cooked it’s handed out for free and everybody finishes the day with a full belly.
Infiorata Di Noto In Sicily.
In Sicily, on the 3rd weekend of May, the town of Noto celebrates the spring season by decorating the pavements with spectacularly intricate carpets of flower petals. Local artists and florists create amazingly elaborate designs with flowers and petals to transform the streets of Noto into an enchanting wonderland of blossoms.
As well as using flowers, the artists also incorporate other natural elements into their designs such as wood cuttings, seeds and earth. The artists start work on their designs on Friday for people to enjoy all weekend. Then, on the Monday after the festival, the children are allowed to run through the flowers and destroy all the designs!
Spring Is A Magical Time In Italy.
Although many tourists overlook Italy as a springtime holiday destination this is great news for you! If you visit Italy during the spring you’ll be able to take advantage of cheaper accommodation and fewer crowds while having the chance to see the country in full bloom – literally! You’ll also have the opportunity to experience some of the nation’s most important festivals and a side of Italian life that very few foreigners get to see.