1. Easter. April 8th is Easter Sunday in 2012 and both Sunday and Monday are public holidays in Italy. Rome is a very religious city and home to the Vatican so it’s a special time here. The Pope says Mass to hundreds of thousands of people who gather in St Peter’s Square at 10.15am on Easter Sunday. He also presides over mass inside the basilica on Good Friday and holds an Easter Vigil on the evening of Easter Saturday, but you need to apply for tickets to these two services direct to the Vatican months in advance.
2. Flowers. Spring in Rome is lovely, the weather is at its best and the flowers are out in the parks. The Spanish Steps are particularly wonderful at this time of year, a mass of pink flowers leading up to the Trinita dei Monte church.
See what my experience was like at The Spanish Steps.
3. April 14-22, 2012 is Rome Culture Week and all the national museums, archaeological sites and etc. are free to the public (except the Vatican). In addition many cultural institutions such as libraries and archives that are not normally open to the public throw open their doors and there are also hundreds of special exhibitions, concerts and other events making this an amazing week to be in Rome.
4. April 21st is the day 3,000 years ago that Romulus and Remus are said to have decided to build Rome, hence the day is one of festivities all over the city, including gladiator fights at the Colosseum.
5. April 25th is the day Italy was liberated from the Nazis by their partisans and it’s a national holiday. Although there are not widespread celebrations held, you’ll find that nearly every town in the country has a street named Via XXV Aprile in recognition.