Aside from the Spring bringing in some more sunny days, April is a great time to visit Venice since the tourist season still doesn’t start for another month or so which means you have the city to yourself except on the days below.
1. Holy Week and Easter – In early April, there are many tourists that take advantage of the long Easter weekend as Easter Monday (Pasquetta) is a national holiday. The days leading up to Easter are known as the Holy week in Catholic tradition, so there are many church services open to the public and sitting in on a local sermon serves as a good way to take in the local culture. Read more about Easter in Venice.
2. Culture Week (aka Free Museum Week) – The Italian Ministry of Culture has a yearly culture week whereby many state-run museums all over Italy open their doors to the public and admission fees are waived! Yes, that’s right, free museum entries! This year though the Ministry CANNOT run this free week because of the economic crisis. Boo! In the past there was an official Italian Ministry’s brochure with all the corresponding museums participating in Culture week in the Veneto region. To give you an idea of the Venice museums that were for free: Accademia Art Gallery, the Island of San Servolo’s museums, Torcello Island’s Museum, Palazzo Loredan, the Archives and Piovego Room in the Doge’s Palace, the National Archeological Museum in St. Mark’s Square, the Oriental Art Museum, G. Franchetti Gallery at Ca’ d’Oro, Palazzo Grimani Museum, Historic Naval Museum of Venice, and the San Sebastiano Church in Dorsoduro. Let’s hope they change their minds and open the doors to the public again!
3. Festa di San Marco and Liberation Day – April 25th is both when Saint Mark, Venice’s patron saint, is revered on this day with a gondoliers’ regatta, with commemorations of the saint at Saint Mark’s Basilica, and festivities in Saint Mark’s Square. Traditionally, men give their “special” girl the “bocolo,” the bloom of the red rose. In some cases, Venetian boys will give a single rose to their mothers on this day. In terms of Liberation Day, April 25th also remains the anniversary on which Venice and the rest of Italy were liberated at the end of World War II.
4. Various Art & Musical Events – Springtime offers a variety of art exhibits that open in April. They vary from photography exhibits to theatre. Some of them include the Diana Freeland Exhibit at Palazzo Fortuny, “A Century of Venetian Beads” exhibit at the Murano Glass Museum, and “Photography in Japan” at Palazzo Franchetti. Check out the full listing of events below. You can also purchase your Venice museum tickets in advance here.