Walking in April on the Tuscan Stages

Walking in April on the Tuscan Stages

April is a great time to walk the Tuscan stages, as the weather is becoming milder and flowers are blooming. It’s an excellent time to visit Florence without the crowds, and accommodations are readily available. Be prepared for cooler temperatures in the mountains and potential rain. Easter festivities provide unique experiences.

Key Highlights

  1. April offers milder weather, blooming flowers, and fewer crowds on the Tuscan stages.
  2. Be prepared for cooler temperatures, potential rain, and muddy trail conditions.
  3. All six stages have open accommodations with no competition for beds.
  4. Florence and Casentino events include Easter celebrations and Liberation Day.
  5. Enjoy seasonal foods like artichokes, asparagus, and strawberries.
  6. Plan for rain, dress in layers, and stay hydrated.

Weather and Trail Conditions

In April, pilgrims can expect cooler temperatures in the mountains, ranging from 5.1ºC to 14.2ºC. Rain is more likely, so be prepared for wet and muddy trail conditions.

The forested areas along the trail offer shade and respite from the sun, while the higher altitudes in the Apennines can bring cooler temperatures and the possibility of fog, particularly in the mornings.

  • Average temp: 9.6ºC
  • Average Low Temp: 5.1ºC
  • Average High Temp: 14.2ºC
  • Rainy Days: 11
  • Rainfall (mm): 112
  • Trail Conditions: The trail is mostly dry, but April can be wet and muddy. Hike with poles for added stability.


Dress in layers to accommodate varying weather conditions, and pack a raincoat and umbrella for potential rain.


As the weather is milder and trails are generally passable, walking in April is a safer option than in winter months. However, be prepared for potential rain and muddy conditions.

Pilgrims and Accommodations

Number of Pilgrims

There is a steady stream of pilgrims, with 5-10 per stage per day. Some days may have no pilgrims at all, as it is still early in the season.

Stages with Open Accommodations

All six stages have open accommodations, and there is no competition for beds. Be prepared for higher prices and increased demand for accommodations around Easter in Florence , where booking in advance is essential.

Booking Recommendation

No need to book accommodations far in advance. The trails will be relatively relaxed, so you won’t compete for beds at each stage. Consider booking your Florence stays before arriving, but you can book stays on the trail each morning or the night before.

Public Transportation

Public transportation is available for all stages, including buses in the Casentinesi forests serving Camaldoli and La Verna Monasteries.

Starting in Florence in April

April is a fantastic month to visit Florence, with mild and sunny days, blooming flowers, and Easter festivities. The city is less crowded, and you can enjoy popular attractions without long lines.

Experiencing Florence in April

Visitors can expect pleasant weather and fewer crowds, making it the perfect time to explore museums, galleries, and outdoor attractions. April is a beautiful time to visit Florence, with mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and fewer tourists. Outdoor cafes are open, and events like the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart) during Easter Weekend and Liberation Day celebrations offer unique experiences. Book museums, restaurants, and activities in advance if visiting during Easter Weekend.

Foreste Casentinesi National Park in April

April is a lovely time to walk through the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, as the forests are lush and filled with blossoming flowers. The trails are generally dry but can be wet and muddy due to the rain, so hiking poles are helpful. Wildlife is more active, and visitors may spot deer, wild boar, and various bird species. Additionally, several monasteries, including Camaldoli and La Verna, offer unique cultural experiences for pilgrims.

Foods Highlighted in April

April is the season for artichokes, asparagus, and fresh strawberries. Be sure to try local dishes featuring these seasonal ingredients.

  • Colomba di Pasqua: A sugar-topped sweet bread similar to panettone, shaped like a dove and enjoyed during Easter.
  • Fresh Artichokes: Artichokes are in season during April, and you can find them in various dishes, such as carciofi alla giudia or stuffed artichokes.
  • Pecorino Cheese: April is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, young Pecorino cheese made from sheep’s milk.
  • Fave e Pecorino: A simple yet delicious dish made with fresh fava beans and Pecorino cheese, enjoyed as a light snack or appetizer.

Special Activities and Events in April

Florence and Casentino Events

  • Free Museum Admission in Florence: On the first Sunday of April, state-owned museums and archaeological sites offer free admission.
  • Holy Week and Easter: Celebrations and processions take place throughout Tuscany, with the Scoppio del Carro event in Florence as a highlight. The exact date varies each year, so check the calendar before planning your visit.
  • Scoppio del Carro: An Easter Day tradition in Florence, featuring a parade with 150 white oxen, an antique cart filled with fireworks, and a grand explosion.
  • Liberation Day: Celebrated on April 25th, this national holiday commemorates the liberation of Italy from Nazi occupation. This national holiday sees many museums and attractions offering free entry. Florence hosts a marching band procession and an open-air concert.

Tips for Walking the Tuscan Stages in April

  1. Stay hydrated: In the cooler temperatures, carry about 1-1.5L of water per person per day. Stay hydrated.
  2. Wear appropriate clothing: Dress in layers and bring a lightweight, waterproof poncho in case of rain. It can be a good idea to carry hiking poles for slippery sections of the trail.
  3. Booking accommodations: There’s no need to pre-book accommodations in the shoulder season unless you’re planning to start near Easter. Otherwise, you can book your stages during the morning or previous night.
  4. Plan for the possibility of rain: While the weather is warming in April, It’s also one of the rainiest months. Be prepared with a poncho and footwear, and keep an eye on the weather forecast.
  5. Be respectful of nature and wildlife: As you explore the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, remember to respect the environment and observe wildlife from a distance.
  6. Enjoy local foods: Take advantage of the seasonal foods in Tuscany
  7. Enjoy Florence attractions without the crowds. Being the low season, you have a great chance to see Florence’s prized attractions without being lost in the tourist shuffle.

Beyond Tuscany

Umbria Stages: Pieve Santo Stefano to Assisi to Rieti (Stages 7-23)

After completing the Tuscan stages, pilgrims walking the remaining 22-25 days will pass through towns such as Pieve Santo Stefano, Sansepolcro, and Assisi. In these areas, expect similar weather conditions as in Tuscany, with milder temperatures and potential rainfall. Pilgrims will be greeted by a delightful blend of warm, sunny days and occasional bouts of rain, creating a verdant and invigorating environment.

Lazio Stages: Rieti to Rome (Stages 24-28)

As you move further south, temperatures may rise, and the landscape will change from mountainous terrain to rolling hills and eventually to the cityscapes of Rome and Vatican City. In this stretch, the climate becomes warmer and drier, with the possibility of hotter days as pilgrims approach Rome.

April is an excellent month for pilgrims to walk the Via di Francesco in Tuscany, offering milder weather, blooming flowers, and fewer crowds. Key considerations for pilgrims include:

  • Weather: Cooler mountain temperatures (5.1ºC to 14.2ºC), potential rain, and muddy trail conditions
  • Crowds: A steady stream of 5-10 pilgrims per stage per day, with some days having no pilgrims at all
  • Accommodations: Readily available along the trail, but book in advance for Easter in Florence due to increased demand
  • Interesting events: Easter festivities like Scoppio del Carro in Florence, and Liberation Day celebrations on April 25th
  • Seasonal foods: Enjoy artichokes, asparagus, strawberries, and traditional Easter dishes