Weather-wise April is glorious – sunshine and pleasant temperatures – but it can be busy, depending on when Easter falls. If travelling over Easter, expect crowds, memorable celebrations and high-season prices.

Easter, Regionwide

Across the region, Easter week is marked by parades, solemn processions and passion plays. In Rome, the Pope leads a Good Friday procession around the Colosseum and, on Easter Sunday, he gives his traditional blessing in St Peter's Square.

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Italy

The curtain goes up on Italy's oldest arts festival, a month-long spectacle of opera, theatre, classical music, jazz and dance held at Florence's Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in May.

Music Biennale Zagreb

Held every odd-numbered year, Zagreb's headline event is one of Europe's top contemporary music festivals. Since it was established in 1961, it has grown in reputation and now attracts world-class performers from a range of musical backgrounds. See www.mbz.hr.

Feria de Abril, Spain

April is a festive time in Seville. The week before Easter, Semana Santa is marked by sinister processions, while the Feria de Abril is a week-long fiesta of folklore, flamenco, tapas and sherry.