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Boy looking out at view of sea in Polignano a Mare, Puglia.

Visiting Italy with Kids for Spring Break – Where to Go & Planning Advice

Ciao! Are you contemplating a family trip to Italy for spring break?

If you’re looking for excellent food, history, architecture and culture – and want to skip the rowdy beach scenes – Italy’s the place for you!

I’m a mamma of three boys living in central Italy. For over two decades, I’ve also helped other families visit Italy (as a guide and trip planner), including during spring break.

Back to your trip… We don’t have a ‘spring break’ in Italy, but Italian kids do get about a week off around the Easter holiday.  We also have Liberation Day (April 25) and Labor Day (May 1), and school children often get a couple of extra days off during that period. So, depending on when you visit, you may see some Italian kids out and about, but not in the numbers you see in the US during spring break.

Let’s take a look at:

  • Why you may (or may not) want to visit Italy for spring break
  • What our weather is like here over spring break
  • Whether or not your spring break overlaps with any Italian holidays (and how it could affect your trip)
  • Kid-friendly activities in Italy over spring break
  • Our choices for the best places to visit in Italy with kids during spring break
  • Italian destinations you may want to skip for a family spring break trip
  • A few tips for spring break travel in Italy

Reasons to Take a Family Trip to Italy During Spring Break

You’ll find fewer crowds. Outside of Easter, it’s a relatively quiet time to visit Italy.  For example, I’m a big fan of Venice in the winter, but it’s also really pleasant in the early spring.

You can bring classroom learning to life. Imagine your child reading about the Colosseum – and then standing inside it!

There aren’t typical spring break vibes. You won’t see dancing at the beach or drunken people out partying.

You can travel in Italy on a budget. Again, outside of Easter, you can find deals on accommodation, travel, and activities.

You’ll catch spring flowers! Seeing red poppies on the side of the road is enough to make even the grumpiest toddler smile.

You can participate in Easter celebrations. If your family loves Easter, what better place to celebrate than the home of the Pope? See the official Rome tourism website for important dates and up-to-date info.

Italians are excited to welcome tourists back. After the winter break, Italians that work in the hospitality industry are eager to see visitors again.

Good To Know:  Italian schools take a Pasqua (Easter) break, a short (week long-ish) vacation.  Many families travel during this break (we don’t get many of them during the school year here), so expect more crowds and higher prices for accommodations.  Some families also take vacations in the period around April 25 – May 1 (both public holidays, and often surrounding days are given off).

Reasons to Avoid Bringing Your Kids to Italy During Spring Break

You or your kids want a beach holiday.  You won’t find beach weather in Italy during spring break – it’s too chilly.  True, some beach clubs open in Italy in April (especially in places like Sicily or Puglia), but I wouldn’t count on non-stop sunbathing and swimming.

It’s tough to adjust to the time zone if you’re just staying for a week – especially if you’re coming from the west coast (Italy is 9 hours ahead). 

You want to avoid rain.  With the way the weather is these days (in October my son was outside wearing shorts and eating a popsicle), you may catch fabulous weather in Italy for spring break.  But, historically, spring break time in Italy sees some rain and poor weather. 

Your spring break falls over the Easter holiday and you want to avoid crowds.  Easter in Italy is a busy time in Italy, especially in places like Rome and Assisi.

You’re avid hikers or cyclists.  Expect rain and muddy trails in the spring in Italy.  If you’re ok with that, you’ll be fine. 

Read more about
Italy in March
Italy in April

Weather in Italy During Spring Break

Boy standing in front of Matera on a trail in the Murgia park.
Springtime in Matera

It’s tough to say what weather you’ll get.  It depends on where you’ll be in the country, and what the weather gods throw at us. 

Weather in Italy in March

Northern Italy is still chilly and sees snow in the mountains.  Temperatures range from about 40-60° F (about 5–15° C).

Central Italy sees similar temperatures as Northern Italy – in the range of 40-60° F (about 5–15° C).

Southern Italy is the warmest part of the country in March, with the temperature usually ranging around 50-60° F (10–15° C).  The south also sees quite a bit more rain than the center and north, so make sure you have your umbrella!

Even though rain often threatens, you should see plenty of sunny days.  Make sure you dress in layers so you can deal with fluctuating spring temperatures.

Italy in March – Temperatures & Precipitation

Milan60°F / 15°C40°F / 5°C13mm
Venice56°F / 13°C40°F / 5°C15mm
Florence61°F / 16°C42°F / 6°C18mm
Rome61°F / 16°C42°F / 6°C19mm
Naples62°F / 17°C45°F / 7°C26mm
Palermo62°F / 17° C51°F / 10°C30mm
Average temperatures and precipitation source: timeanddate.com

Weather in Italy in April

Northern Italy is still chilly and sees snow at higher elevations in the mountains.  Temperatures range from the upper 40s to the upper 60s (°F), or about 10–20° C.

Central Italy sees similar temperatures as Northern Italy – temperatures in the upper 40s to the upper 60s (°F), or about 10–20° C.

Southern Italy has warmer evenings but daytime temperatures are similar to the rest of Italy. Temperatures range from the low 50s to the upper 60s (°F), or about 12-20°C.

Even though rain often threatens, you should still see plenty of sunny days.  But keep your umbrella handy, because April is one of the rainiest months in Italy. Make sure you dress in layers so you can deal with fluctuating spring temperatures.

Italy in April – Temperatures & Precipitation

Milan66°F / 19°C47°F / 9°C38mm (rainiest month)
Venice63°F / 17°C48°F / 9°C34mm (2nd rainiest month)
Florence67°F / 20°C48°F / 9°C49mm
Rome66°F / 19°C47°F / 8°C34mm
Naples67°F / 19°C50°F / 10°C43mm (2nd rainiest month)
Palermo66°F / 19° C55°F / 13°C31mm
Average temperatures and precipitation source: timeanddate.com

Spring Break Dates – Do They Overlap with Italian Holidays?

The main holiday you need to keep in mind if you want to visit Italy for spring break is Easter.  If you want to participate in Easter festivities, make sure you book your accommodation and activities (museum tickets, tour guides, etc) as far in advance as possible.  Also keep in mind that you’ll be waiting in longer lines for many things, so don’t pack your day – allow a little extra time.

March 8th – International Women’s Day (La Festa della Donna).  You’ll see bright yellow mimosa sprigs being handed out.  Read more about La Festa della Donna in Italy.

March 19th – Father’s Day (La Festa di San Giuseppe).  Be sure to try the fried sweet treats on sale for Father’s Day – they come under many names, including frittelle and zeppole di San Giuseppe

Easter – (Pasqua) – The date falls in late March or in April (March 31st in 2024, April 20th in 2025).  In Italy, the Monday after Easter (Pasquetta) is also a holiday.

Best Kid-Friendly Activities in Italy During Spring Break

My son checking out the vintage Ferraris at the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena

These are some of our family’s favorite things to do during the spring break period in Italy:

Explore Museums – Check out car museums, art museums, science museums.

Participate in a Cooking Class – Kids love learning about Italian food and they can help recreate the menu from your cooking class when you’re back home.

Go Shopping – While it’s not saldi (sale) time in Italy, shopping is a fun activity year-round, especially in places that have covered porticoes, like Bologna, Milan, and Bolzano.

Attend a Soccer Game – It’s toward the end of the calcio season here, so the energy is high and it’s a fun time to watch Italy’s national sport.  Read more about Going to a Soccer Game in Italy with Kids.

Outdoor Monuments and Sites – Seeing places like the Colosseum and Roman Forum in the spring sure beats the summer months!

Visit Hot Springs – If your kids are old enough to (and interested in) visiting hot springs, it’s a pleasant time. 

Climb Towers – It’s nice to climb an Italian tower with your kids when it’s not 30°C outside.  Just be cautious of slippery steps if it’s rained.

Explore Towns Without CrowdsMamma, I know you love visiting quiet towns where you can have a coffee on the piazza and let your kids play vs trying to keep track of them in a packed city. 

Look for Wildflowers – My boys get so excited to see poppies and lilies blooming in the spring! 

Special EventsVerona Model Expo

Where to Take Your Kids in Italy During Spring Break

My son and I loved seeing the wildflowers at the Roman Forum (Rome) in the spring

Keep In Mind:  I’m looking at these destinations outside of Easter Week, when crowds descend on Italy, especially Rome.

Rome – Rome during the spring break period is lively, and the weather is getting better so people are spending time outdoors.  You can go shopping, sit outdoors at cafes, and enjoy the city along with the Romans.  With kids, visit the classic sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum (and see wildflowers sprouting up between the ruins), and the Vatican Museums.  Explore piazzas, eat gelato and browse at the markets.  April is such a great time to visit Rome with kids!  Read more about Things to Do in Rome With Kids.

Emilia-Romagna – Emilia-Romagna is one of my favorite places to visit with kids in general, and springtime is great because the summer in the cities here can be toasty!  Visit car museums like Ferrari and Lamborghini.  Walk through the bamboo labyrinth, try balsamic vinegar in Modena, visit factories that make parmesan and prosciutto near Parma, marvel at mosaics in Ravenna, and visit small villages like Dozza (amazing outdoor art and a dragon in the castle!) and Brisighella. Read more about Emilia-Romagna with Kids.

Sicily – Sicily is splendid in the spring!  Take your kids for a hike on Mount Etna, play (and possibly swim) at its beaches, explore Palermo, walk the main drag and see the incredible Greek Theater in Taormina, and visit Siracusa’s lively market.  Spring is also the perfect time to visit some of Sicily’s outdoor sites like the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento or Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina – without the unbearable summer heat or extreme crowds!  Want to swim?  If your kids are ok with slightly chilly water, they’ll probably be able to swim.  My boys have been swimming in Sicily in December!

Florence – Our family kind of comes out of hibernation in the spring and we love to visit Florence’s kid-friendly museums.  Check out the hidden gem Stibbert Museum, David at the Accademia, or the Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum.  It’s also a great time to climb a tower (without sweating), visit bookshops and toy stores if the weather is poor, or take a cooking class with Jacopo and Anna.  And, don’t forget gelato!  Read more about Florence with Kids, Florence with a Baby or Toddler, and Florence with Teens.

Other Tuscan cities – Tuscany is more than Florence!  Spring is a nice time to visit other Tuscan cities like Lucca (cycle the city walls!), Pisa (climb the Leaning Tower and visit the Paratrooper Museum), and Siena.  You can also check out some of the towns like San Gimignano and Cortona, but keep in mind that smaller towns and villages will be quiet (with many restaurants and shops closed up until late-Spring). 

Puglia – Another springtime gem!  If your spring break is in April, your kids will likely be happy to jump into the turquoise water, or at least play on a sandy beach.  Beach clubs may be closed (although there are usually a few open), but you can also use the free beaches.  Also visit the charming towns like Alberobello, Locorotondo, Ostuni, Cisternino, and don’t miss the city of Lecce.  Kids can also learn how to make fresh mozzarella and visit the Castellana Caves. Read my guide to Puglia with Kids.

Matera – While you probably don’t want to spend your entire spring break in Matera, this magical city will capture your kids’ imagination for a night or three.  Sleep in a cave hotel!, explore one of the oldest cities on Earth, try the local dishes, learn about how the population lived in the caves.  Matera is a great add on to a Puglia trip. Read more about Matera with Kids.

Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum – If your kids love history and food, consider a trip to Campania.  Head to Naples (Archaeological Museum and pizza!), and then Pompeii and Herculaneum to see some of Italy’s most interesting archaeological ruins. You could also visit Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius on a long day tour from Rome. Read my guide to Pompeii with Kids.

Venice – Although our family’s favorite time to visit Venice is in the winter, early spring is also nice because you can avoid the crowds – the city starts to get really busy toward the end of April.  One of the hardest things about Venice with kids is dealing with the crowds – trying to walk down narrow lanes, waiting in long lines to get on a vaporetto or into monuments, etc.  Explore the city with your little ones – take a ride down the Grand Canal, climb a tower, see a glass-blowing demonstration, eat bussolà cookies on Burano Island, let them find their favorite Carnival mask, and play with local kids at a playground.  Read more about Venice with Kids and Burano with Kids.

Milan – If you’re worried about weather, keep Milan in mind.  There are plenty of indoor activities like shopping under the porticoes and visiting museums.  And you can stroll when the weather is nice.  Read more about Milan with Kids.

Think Twice About These Destinations for Spring Break in Italy with Kids

I’m not saying not to visit these places– just keep the following in mind if you’re interested in visiting them in March or April.

Tuscan Countryside – We live in Tuscany and I can tell you that although there are some gorgeous spring days, you need to be ready for rain, puddles, and mud.  We use our rain boots a lot during March and April!  Also, a lot of the Tuscan villages (like Montepulciano and Pienza) are quiet in the early spring, with many restaurants, shops, and activities (like tower climbs) closed until there are more visitors. Read more about Our Favorite Family Activities in Tuscany and Things to Do in Tuscany with Kids.

Lake Garda – Unless you’re really excited about theme parks like Gardaland, I’d save a visit to Lake Garda with kids for the warmer months when you can swim and enjoy the lake. Read more about Lake Garda with Kids.

Amalfi Coast – In general, I think Amalfi’s best with a baby that’s happy in a carrier or older kids who don’t mind climbing lots of steps and sitting politely at chic seaview lunches.  If you visit in the early spring, keep in mind that many things are still closed up, it’s too chilly for swimming, and it’s tough getting up and down the steps if it’s rained.  The ‘vibe’ of the Amalfi Coast is much more energetic and fun from late spring through late summer.

Dolomites – There likely will be snow in March, but it’s possible you’ll arrive in Italy during spring break and be ‘between seasons’ – post-snow and pre-summer activities.  I’ve been in the area for spring break time and it’s not my preferred time to visit, but you can have fun exploring Bolzano (see the Ice Man, browse the shops, try out cozy restaurants), villages like Ortisei, and some of the best viewpoints in the Dolomites (some cable cars will be open – like to Alpe di Siusi, while others will be closed during spring break, like Seceda).  Read more about Visiting the Dolomites with Kids.

Cinque Terre – One of the best parts of visiting the Cinque Terre with kids is swimming – and you won’t be able to do that during spring break.  Also, springtime in the Cinque Terre is marked with rain and poor weather – not what you’re looking for if you want to hike the famous trails between the five villages (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore). 

Sardinia – Kids love the beaches of Sardinia, but it’s too cold (and often windy) for spending time at them during spring break.  I’ve visited Sardinia with a toddler in April and won’t do it again.

Italian Lakes – If you’ve got a baby or a toddler, you could probably make this work. If your spring break is in late-April, you’ll start to see flowers blooming in gardens like Villa Carlotta (Lake Como) and Isola Bella (Lake Maggiore).  It’s also a nice time to visit places like Orta San Giulio (Lake Orta) that get busier from late-spring.

Piedmont – There’s not much going on for kids in Piedmont wine country, but you could make a trip to Torino for hot chocolate and a visit to the Egyptian museum, or go truffle hunting for black truffles. 

Tips for Visiting Italy During Spring Break

  • Book accommodation in city centers.  Avoid isolated agriturismos and countryside hotels. 
  • Remember that the daylight hours are fewer than the summer.  Keep it in mind when you’re scheduling your day.
  • Bring an umbrella or rain gear (including a rain cover for your stroller).
  • Have some ‘quiet time’ activities like books, small games, coloring pages, or other activities for kids if you end up indoors on a rainy day (at a restaurant, in your hotel, etc).

What to Pack for Spring Break in Italy

Boy walking into clear, turquoise, shallow water at a beach in Puglia, Italy. The sand is a golden brown. There are a few other people swimming further out.
If you’ll be in southern Italy, don’t forget to pack swimsuits… just in case!

What you need to pack in Italy during the spring really depends on where you’re headed, the ages of your kids, and the types of activities you’ll be participating in.   

The main thing – no matter where you are – is to be prepared for cool or cold weather, the possibility of rain, and the fact that you may have different weather conditions in the same day.  Layers are your friend!

Italy with Kids Packing List
Packing List for Italy with a Baby or Toddler
Tips for Choosing Kids Shoes for Italy

I hope you have an amazing spring break trip to Italy with your family!

You may also want to take a look at
Best Places to Visit in Italy with Kids
Italy with a Baby or Toddler
Italy with Teens
Basic Italian Phrases for Kids
Renting a Car in Italy

Accommodation Options in Italy – From Agriturismos to Villas

Boys sitting on a green hill full of purple crocus flowers. The hill overlooks the Pitti Palace. They are in the Boboli Gardens.
My boys enjoying a spring day at the Boboli Gardens in Florence

Trying to decide when to visit Italy? Check out our monthly guides:
Italy in January
Italy in February

Italy in March
Italy in April
Italy in May
Italy in June
Italy in July
Italy in August
Italy in September
Italy in October

Italy in November
Italy in December

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