April is the start of the tourist season in Tuscany and Italy, when Easter livens up towns and cities with events and plenty of sweet specialities. Days start getting longer, temperatures are mild and there’s a excitement in the air. The countryside awakens and explodes into colour. All around Tuscany in April many small towns host markets and flower festivals, and the beautiful Tuscan gardens have a few surprises for their visitors.
Enjoy all the colours of the countryside
If you’re travelling to Tuscany in April, one of the most pleasant things to do is spend time in the countryside. After the cold months almond and cherry blossom seems to paint the landscape with white and pink touches. The delightfully purple wisteria also makes its appearance adorning the walls of country houses while the yellow forsythia colours the borders of the roads.
Whether you take a scenic drive, travel by bike or on foot, April is the month to explore the countryside, so pack your camera and discover the most colourful spots.
Tuscany in April – Easter festivals 29 March-2 April 2018
During the week before Easter, a lot of traditional events take place around Tuscany. On Thursday evening people traditionally visit the ‘sette chiese’, or ‘seven churches’ which are embellished with special flower displays. On Good Friday in some Tuscan towns – the most popular are in Asciano, Chianciano Terme, and Grassina near Florence – you can see the reenactment of Christ’s passion in historical costumes.
Visit a magnificent garden with a view of Florence
April is the perfect time to visit a special Florentine garden. One that mixes a love of nature and gorgeous views with a great atmosphere. The gardens of Villa Bardini, located in the Oltrarno area, a 20 minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio are a real delight, a terraced green space that offers mesmerising views over Florence. As you walk up the Baroque staircase, meeting a few statues on the way, the city stretches out in front of your eyes.
This is a gorgeous spot all year round, but in April the gardens put on their best show as the wisteria pergola comes into full bloom. You’ll be able to take gorgeous photos of Florence framed in purple, the perfect picture to illustrate the magic of spring.
Read more about the Best Florentine gardens.
The villas of Lucca, a must-see in April
The town of Lucca is a great place to be in April. The city walls are alive with people on bikes, jogging, and making the most of the longer spring days. You have the Festival of Saint Zita on the 27th April, the day where the town fills with flowers and colours.
You can take a stroll in the gardens of Villa Pfanner, to enjoy the old-world suggestions of this elegant palace a few steps from Lucca’s city walls. Or head outside the town to the Villa Reale di Marlia that was once property of the sister of Napoleone. She’s the one who transformed this ancient villa into a neoclassical dream complete with the splendid 16 hectare park.
The best April events in Tuscany
What could be a better way to start the new season than with a visit to a buzzing outdoor market? Tuscany loves its markets. The great antique and vintage bric-a-brac market in Greve in Chianti is one of the favourite destinations on Easter Monday or “Lunedi di Pasqua”, which is traditionally dedicated to field trips. While you’re there try a glass of excellent Chianti wine. An art crafts and local specialities market is hosted in Casole d’Elsa on this same date.
Every year Volterra welcomes Spring with a traditional folk festival “Omaggio di Primavera”, a spectacular show of flag throwing in Piazza dei Priori – this year it will happen on Easter Monday morning 2nd April 2018. This is a perfect opportunity to live the town’s Medieval historic centre.
Check out some local art crafts in Anghiari, that hosts the Mostra Mercato Artigianato from 21st April to 1st May 2018. With everything from leather to pottery to jewellery, it’s a feast for the eyes (official site). On these same dates there’s Florence’s annual Mostra dell’ Artigianato with hundreds of stalls with the best of Made in Italy and art crafts from all over the world.
Flowers are the great stars of the show in Tuscany in April: in Arezzo a flower show takes place between 28th-29th April 2018, and from 25th to the end of April there’s a flower show at the Giardino dell’Orticultura in Florence, just outside the city centre. Pisa embraces the spring spirit during the “Pisa in Fiore” event (13th-15th April 2018) dedicated to flowers and creative talent.
Tip: the 25th April is a bank holiday in Italy which celebrates Liberation Day, so shops might stay closed in some smaller towns and museums will be on holiday opening times This weekend gets quite busy as many Italians travel.
Weather in Tuscany in April
Temperature from 7/9 degrees minimum to 18/20 maximum. Expect a few rainy days, possible wind, cool evenings – during the day it can vary from almost summery weather on sunny days, but it gets definitely cooler in the evenings and on grey rainy days. By the end of April, the weather gets really lovely, with balmy temperatures.
It’s still a bit cold in the evening so eating outdoors might be a stretch. The same goes for swimming pools that don’t usually open until June in hotels and agriturismi. Bring a light coat for the evening, layers of clothing, and an umbrella.