Italy in March, with Tuscan hills and some early signs of spring coming.

The Best of Italy in March – Weather, Activities, and Travel Tips

Wondering what it would be like to explore Italy in March?

With its delightful weather, lower prices, fewer crowds, and an array of cultural events, March is a perfect time to explore this beautiful country.

In this article, I’ll tell you:

Key Takeaways

  • Besides the cool weather, March is also a festive time in Italy. One highlight festive experience is the La Festa della Donna, International Women’s Day on March 8th. It’s the perfect day to visit famous Italian cities supporting women’s courses. Another is St. Joseph’s Day (one of my favorites).
  • While the ski season may be winding down, there’s still plenty of snow at higher altitudes, which makes for excellent skiing conditions. Resorts like Courmayeur and Cervinia and lesser-known ones like La Thuile and Passo Tonale are perfect spots for ski lovers.
  • Even though March in Italy is considered a shoulder season, with fewer tourists, booking accommodations and tours early is important (as guided tours, museum visits, and special events can be pretty hectic, and tickets can sell out quickly).
St. Joseph festival in Italy
Kids on Saint Joseph feast day (St. Giuseppe Day)

Why March is the Perfect Time

If you’ve ever dreamt of exploring Italy without the scorching heat and throngs of tourists, then March is the right time to plan your trip.

With mild weather ranging from chilly in the north to warmer in the south, Italy in March offers a pleasant escape from the cold winter months.

But that’s not all; visiting during this time of the year also means lower prices and fewer crowds, allowing you to immerse yourself in the country’s rich culture and history without feeling overwhelmed. And with events like Carnevale, Easter weekend, and International Women’s Day, you’ll have no shortage of festivities to enjoy.

There are also many places to visit, my top being:

  1. Amalfi Coast
  2. Rome
  3. Florence
  4. Venice
  5. Cinque Terre
  6. Tuscany
  7. Sicily

Weather Benefits

A scenic view of the Italian countryside in March
Winter ends, and spring starts. Same beautiful.

In March, Italy experiences a delightful transition from winter to spring. The March weather is generally pleasant, with temperatures ranging from cool in the north to cozy in central Italy.

Southern Italy, on the other hand, boasts the most delightful weather in March, with temperatures often reaching up to 15°C (59°F). This means you can enjoy the beautiful outdoors without the extreme heat or cold.

Remember that cooler weather can still be unpredictable in March when planning your trip, so it’s essential to pack accordingly. Layering your clothes and bringing a waterproof jacket will ensure you’re prepared for any changes in temperature or unexpected rainy days.

Lower Prices and Fewer Crowds

One of the many perks of visiting Italy in early spring is the lower prices of accommodations and attractions. Since March is considered the shoulder season, you can often find great deals on hotels and hostels, making it easier to plan your dream trip without breaking the bank.

In addition to the cost savings, visiting around March means fewer crowds at popular attractions. This allows you to explore iconic sites like the Colosseum and Piazza San Marco more leisurely, without having to navigate through hordes of other tourists.

With fewer crowds and lower prices, you can also take advantage of the opportunity to plan day trips to nearby cities or attractions, further enriching your Italian experience. Just remember to book your accommodations and attractions in advance, as popular events and festivals in March can still attract many visitors.

Take advantage of March’s Perks by visiting Siena. One of the best destinations I enjoyed exploring. On a solo trip, I Started at Piazza del Campo, enjoyed coffee while people-watching. Explored the stunning Siena Cathedral and climbed Torre del Mangia for killer views.

Wandered through medieval streets, checked out Contrada museums, and indulged in delicious Tuscan cuisine. The city’s divided into unique neighborhoods, each with its vibe. Tried local dishes at a cozy trattoria. Wrapped up the day at Fortezza Medicea, watching the sunset.

Siena’s charm is unreal, especially without the crowds. Highly recommend it for a solo adventure – historical, cultural, and filled with delightful surprises!

– Luca
Siena in March
Siena in March offers the same gorgeous views, with fewer crowds.

Cultural Events and Festivals

March in Italy is a month filled with cultural events and festivals, adding a touch of excitement and vibrancy to your visit.

From the joyous celebration of Carnevale in early March to the beauty of Easter weekend, something always happens in Italy.

One particularly noteworthy event is International Women’s Day (La Festa della Donna), celebrated on March 8th. This day honors the incredible progress women have made in various fields.

Here’s how to make the most of La Festa della Donna:

  • Start your day by checking online for local International Women’s Day events or marches in cities like Rome or Florence.
  • Plan your route and make sure to have comfortable walking shoes and a refillable water bottle.
  • Visit museums or galleries featuring female artists or exhibits on women’s history, and consider purchasing souvenirs to support women-owned businesses.
  • Opt for public transportation or walking to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Engage in meaningful conversations with locals about women’s issues and achievements and exchange contact information for future connections.
  • End the day with a relaxing meal at a female-run restaurant, savoring the flavors of Italian cuisine while reflecting on the day’s experiences.
– Luca

Another popular event in March is the Rome Marathon, an exhilarating race held in the heart of Rome.

Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, the Rome Marathon is a thrilling experience not to be missed.

Romę Marathon held in March
Romę Marathon is held in March – a major sports event.

Top Destinations to Visit in Early Spring

Now that we’ve established why March is a good time to visit Italy let’s explore some of the top destinations during this perhaps unusual month.

Regardless of whether you choose Rome or Venice, early spring offers every traveler a diverse range of experiences. My must-visit destinations at this time of the year include Rome, Florence, Venice, and Sicily.

Each of these cities in northern Italy offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making them the perfect stops on your Italian adventure and potential candidates for a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sunset like this? Only in Rome, only in March.
Sunset like this? Only in Rome, only in March.

Rome in March

Rome is no less breathtaking in March than in May or June. As the city transitions from winter to spring, the streets come alive with blooming flowers and pleasant weather.

This is the perfect time to explore Rome’s historical sites, such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.

With fewer crowds and mild temperatures, you can wander through the ancient ruins and imagine life in the Eternal City centuries ago.

In addition to the outdoor attractions, Rome also offers many indoor experiences to enjoy during your visit. St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican City Museums, and the Sistine Chapel are just a few of the incredible places you can explore in Rome during March.

And don’t forget to try some delicious Italian cuisine at one of the many local restaurants and trattorias 🙂

Here’s one helpful video I found recently:

Florence: Art, Culture, and Countryside

Florence in March is truly a feast for the senses. As the birthplace of the Renaissance, the city is home to some of the world’s most incredible art and architecture.

There’s no shortage of cultural experiences to be had in Florence, but I’ll recommend starting by checking out the stunning Duomo and Uffizi Gallery.

-Luca

And, with the arrival of spring, the city’s picturesque streets and piazzas are bathed in warm sunlight, making it the perfect time to stroll through the historic center and take in the beauty of this enchanting city.

But Florence isn’t just about art and architecture. The surrounding countryside is equally captivating, with rolling hills and charming vineyards waiting to be explored.

Consider taking a day trip to the nearby towns of Siena or San Gimignano, where you can immerse yourself in the region’s rich history and sample some of the delicious local wines.

Here's how nice and sunny a March weather can be in Florence
Here’s how nice and sunny a March weather can be in Florence.

Venice: Canals and Islands

Venice in March is a dream come true, and the enchanting atmosphere continues into early April. With fewer tourists crowding the city’s narrow streets and iconic bridges, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the magic of Venice at a more relaxed pace.

The winding canals and stunning architecture provide the perfect backdrop for strolls and romantic gondola rides. And with the arrival of spring, the city’s many outdoor cafes and restaurants come alive, offering the perfect spot to enjoy a cappuccino or a glass of wine while taking in the sights.

But Venice isn’t just about the canals. The city is also home to several beautiful islands, each with its unique charm and history. Take a day trip to Murano, famous for its exquisite glassmaking, or visit Burano, where you’ll find colorful houses and intricate lacework.

No matter where you choose to explore, Venice in March will capture your heart.

Venice in early spring, around late February and early March
This photo was taken on March 1 in Venice – no crowds, nostalgic atmosphere…

Sicily: History and Warmth

Sicily in March is a delightful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its unique history and rich cultural heritage, Sicily offers many experiences for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the past (ancient Agrigento ruins or stunning Villa Romana del Casale mosaics immediately come to mind).

In addition to its historical sites, Sicily is known for its warm and welcoming climate. In March, temperatures in Sicily are pleasantly warm, making it the perfect time to explore the island’s beautiful beaches and rugged coastline.

With fewer tourists visiting during this time, you’ll have the opportunity to experience Sicily’s enchanting towns and villages without much hassle.

Outdoor Activities and Adventures in Italy in March

Hiking Italian Dolomites in early spring
Hiking the Dolomites in early spring. Those views heal a soul…

With its diverse landscape and pleasant weather, Italy offers a range of outdoor activities and adventures for travelers visiting in March. From hiking through picturesque countryside to skiing in the majestic Alps, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during a March trip to Italy.

Let me share some of the best outdoor activities available in Italy during March.

Hiking and Trekking

March is a fantastic time for hiking and trekking in Italy, with abundant trails and paths throughout the country.

You can consider stunning Dolomites in the north, or the rolling hills of Tuscany – I guarantee there’s a trail to suit every level of experience and fitness.

With the arrival of spring, the countryside comes alive with blooming flowers and lush greenery, making for a genuinely picturesque hiking experience.

When planning your hiking adventure, be sure to:

  • Check the weather conditions and pack accordingly.
  • Layer your clothing and bring a waterproof jacket to ensure you’re prepared for any changes in temperature or unexpected rainfall.
  • Pack water and snacks, so you feel energized throughout your hike.

Skiing in the Alps

For winter sports enthusiasts, March is a great time to hit the slopes in the Italian Alps. While the ski season may be winding down, there’s still plenty of snow in the higher altitudes, making for excellent skiing conditions.

If you have budget, a world-class resorts of Courmayeur and Cervinia are worth checking out. My favorite, however, are the lesser-known gems such as La Thuile or Passo Tonale.

-Luca

When planning your ski trip, check the snow conditions and weather forecasts before heading out. This will help ensure you have the best possible experience on the slopes.

Of course, don’t forget to pack warm clothing and any necessary ski equipment, as temperatures in the Alps can still be quite chilly in March.

March skiing in Italian Alps
March is my favorite month for skiing in the Italian Alps. Days are longer, you can often ski in t-shirt!

City Walking Tours

City walking tours are a popular activity in Italy in March, allowing visitors to explore the country’s beautiful cities at a leisurely pace.

With fewer crowds and pleasant weather, this is the perfect time to wander through Italy’s historic streets and enjoy the stunning architecture and vibrant culture. Some of the fantastic sights to see during a city walking tour include:

  • The ancient ruins of Rome
  • The picturesque canals of Venice
  • The Renaissance art in Florence
  • The charming streets of Siena
  • The historic center of Naples

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Italy’s cities on foot during this time of year.

TIP: Consider booking a guided tour with a local expert to make the most of your city walking tour. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on any important landmarks and provide you with fascinating insights into the history and culture of the city you’re exploring.

-Luca

With so many incredible cities across the country, you’re sure to find a walking tour that captures your imagination and leaves you with lasting memories of your time in Italy.

Helpful Travel Tips

Sicily beach restaurant on sunny day in March
That’s how I like to spend early spring when in Sicily!

It’s essential to be prepared and plan ahead to make your trip to Italy in March as enjoyable as possible.

To help you prepare better, I’m share some good travel tips below, including packing essentials, transportation options, and booking accommodations and attractions.

Packing Essentials

When packing for your trip to Italy in early spring, it’s important to consider the unpredictable weather and pack accordingly.

As I mentioned earlier, layering your clothes is essential, as temperatures can vary greatly from day to day. Be sure to:

  • bring a waterproof jacket or raincoat
  • hat and sunglasses for sun protection
  • don’t forget to pack comfortable walking shoes or waterproof boots (especially if you plan to visit the countryside).

In addition to clothing, be sure to pack:

  • Necessary travel documents, such as your passport and travel insurance
  • A charger for your electronic devices
  • A travel adapter
  • Any necessary medications

Transportation Options

Transportation options include:

  • Trains: a popular and efficient way to travel between cities, with frequent services and comfortable seating.
  • Buses: an option for those looking to save money, although they may be less comfortable and slower than trains.
  • Car rentals: an excellent choice for those who prefer the freedom to explore at their own pace, allowing you to visit smaller towns and villages that may not be accessible by public transportation.

Boat travel is also possible in Italy during March, although schedules may be reduced due to the shoulder season.

Be sure to check local ferry timetables and plan your trips accordingly. And don’t forget to book your transportation in advance, as popular routes can fill up quickly, especially during popular events and festivals.

Booking Accommodations and Attractions

Booking accommodations and attractions in advance is highly recommended for March travel in Italy, especially during popular events and festivals.

With fewer crowds and lower prices, you’ll have more options when choosing accommodations, whether you prefer a luxurious hotel, a charming bed and breakfast, or a budget-friendly hostel. You can secure the best deals and avoid disappointment by booking in advance.

Similarly, booking attractions and activities in advance is essential, as popular sites can become busy, even during the shoulder season. This is particularly important for guided tours, museum visits, and special events, as tickets can sell out quickly.

By planning and reserving your accommodations and attractions, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy a seamless and stress-free trip to Italy in March.

Italian Cuisine and Seasonal Delights in March

Experiencing Italy’s delicious cuisine is essential to any trip to this beautiful country. In March, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in various seasonal dishes and treats, showcasing the best of Italian culinary traditions.

Seasonal Produce

Italy is known for its fresh, seasonal produce; March is no exception.

During this time, you’ll find an abundance of artichokes, asparagus, and citrus fruits, all bursting with flavor and perfect for creating delicious dishes.

In addition to enjoying fresh produce in your meals, consider taking a cooking class or attending a food festival to learn more about Italy’s culinary traditions and techniques. This will help you better appreciate the flavors and ingredients that make Italian cuisine so beloved!

Traditional Dishes and Treats

March in Italy offers a variety of traditional dishes and treats for you to savor, especially during the holy week. One such treat is zeppole, a delicious pastry traditionally enjoyed on St. Joseph’s Day.

These scrumptious pastries are often filled with sweet cream or custard and dusted with powdered sugar, making them a delightful indulgence. Additionally, you’ll find various Easter specialties, such as succulent roast lamb, colomba (a dove-shaped cake), and pastiera (a wheatberry cake), all of which add a festive touch to your culinary experience.

Easter Doves - Homemade Colomba Pasquale
Easter Doves – Homemade Colomba Pasquale

Summary

In conclusion, Italy in March offers a delightful mix of pleasant weather, lower prices, fewer crowds, and an array of cultural events and festivals. With so much to see, do, and taste, this is the perfect time to explore Italy’s beautiful cities, stunning countryside, and rich culinary traditions.

I hope this guide has provided helpful insights and tips for planning your unforgettable trip. Buon viaggio!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is March a good time to go to Italy?

Absolutely. March offers a pleasant climate with milder temperatures, fewer tourists, and the chance to experience Italy without the summer crowds.

How cold will it be in Italy in March?

Italy enjoys mild temperatures in March, with averages ranging from 35-60°F (2-16°C) across the country. Northern Italy usually stays a bit cooler than Central or Southern Italy, but temperatures remain pleasant and mild throughout the month.

Are accommodations and attractions cheaper in Italy then?

Yes! Accommodations and attractions in Italy are typically cheaper in March, since it is considered the shoulder season.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy at this time of the year?

March is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities in Italy, such as hiking, skiing in the Alps, running (Rome Marathon!) and city walking tours.

What are some traditional Italian dishes to try during this time?

March is the perfect time to try traditional Italian dishes, such as zeppole for St. Joseph’s Day and various Easter specialties!

Luca
Luca

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