Rome Italy in March

Guide to Italy in March: Best Places to Visit (2024)

While Italy is a great all-year destination, there is no denying that some months (hello, summer!) can get hot and crowded. While spring and fall are also popular times to visit Italy, not many consider it as a winter destination. So what about Italy in March?

Most of March is technically still winter, and we consider it an in-between month, meaning you get a bit of a mix of weather. With a mix of sunny weather and rainy days, visiting Italy during March is a great opportunity to experience the best of the country without the heat or massive crowds. We think it’s the best time of the year to visit, and here is why.

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Weather and what to pack

While March weather is a bit of a mixed bag, the temperatures are higher than those in earlier winter months. Living in Italy has taught us that winter and spring are wet and rainy, and compared to the Canadian winter, the Italian spring weather is a lot more pleasant. There are plenty of nice sunny days and warmer days, making this season a lovely time to visit Italy.

Guide to Italy in March: Best Places to Visit (2024)

The average temperatures in March hover in the low to mid-teens, depending on where you are and the time of day. In the north, the average temperature varies between 2 and 13°C (35-55°F); in central Italy, it’s between 7 and 16°C (45-60°F), while further south, you can expect around 10 to 16°C (50-60°F). Having said that, we’ve had days in the 18-20°C (64-68°F) range in Naples, so it really depends.

You can definitely expect wet weather and rain. When packing for Italy in March, we recommend good waterproof and comfortable walking shoes, an umbrella, and a light coat. You might also want to pack some light layers like a sweater or a scarf that you can take off when the temperatures go up. As you’ll likely experience warm and sunny days, we also recommend you bring sunscreen and sunglasses.

Festivals and special events 

In Italy, it sometimes feels like there is something to celebrate each month. Depending on the year, Carnival and Easter can fall in March, which means a spike in tourists, especially in Venice for the famous Carnaval celebrations. Keep that in mind if you plan to visit Italy during that time. 

Other noteworthy dates in March include International Women’s Day (La Festa della Donna) on March 8, when it’s common practice to gift women yellow mimosa flowers. On March 19, it is St. Joseph’s Day (Festa di San Giuseppe), Father’s Day for Italians. 

Guide to Italy in March: Best Places to Visit (2024)

The annual Open Monuments Weekend is another great reason to visit Italy in March. Taking place on the weekend closest to the first day of Spring (March 23-24 in 2024), it is an opportunity to visit over 750 monuments in 400 cities in Italy for free. These sites, rarely opened to the public, include gardens, palaces, castles, abbeys, libraries and other monuments. This initiative is run by the Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (FAI), for the XII Giornata FAI di Primavera and is in its 32nd edition.

Pro tip: If you visit Italy during the Easter Weekend, many attractions might be closed or have limited opening hours. Always check ahead of your visit to avoid disappointment. 

Best places to visit in March

In March, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures, sightseeing, and indoor activities in the different regions of Italy. We recommend partaking in a guided tour or a cooking class when it’s raining or cloudy, and of course, exploring the many amazing museums. Let’s take a look at the different offerings you can explore in March.

Northern Italy

If you’re looking for outdoor snow activities, head to the Dolomites and the Italian Alps, where you’ll likely catch the skiing season’s end. If you’re more into the outdoors without the skies, consider this your sign to visit the stunning Italian lakes busy during the summer. We’re talking about Lake Como and Lake Garda.  

While the weather is too cold to enjoy water sports, you can still enjoy the views and outdoor walks. The lakes are dotted with picturesque towns with charming homes and stunning views. Both are touristy destinations so visiting in the less touristy season can give you a better chance to experience both more authentically. 

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Here are some larger cities we think you’ll enjoy in March.

Venice: March is an ideal time to visit Venice as it marks the end of the tourist season, allowing you to explore the city’s iconic landmarks like St. Mark’s Basilica and the Grand Canal without the crowds. The weather is pleasant, and you can experience the city’s unique charm without the summer heat or the high water levels that occur in other months.

Bologna: Bologna is renowned for its rich culinary tradition, vibrant markets, and medieval architecture. In March, you can explore the city’s numerous museums, climb the iconic Asinelli Tower for panoramic views, and indulge in authentic Italian cuisine at local trattorias without the tourist crowds. We recommend a food tour to learn more about the delightful dishes Bologna is famous for.

Guide to Italy in March: Best Places to Visit (2024)

Verona: Known as the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Verona is a beautiful city with a rich cultural heritage. In March, you can explore its well-preserved Roman ruins, visit the iconic Juliet’s House, and stroll along the charming streets and scenic riverbanks without the crowds that flock to the city during the summer months.

Book your northern Italy tours here!

Central Italy

Florence: While Florence is a great all-year destination, in March, the weather begins to warm up, and the city is less crowded than during the peak tourist season. You can explore renowned Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery, climb the iconic Duomo for panoramic views of the city, and stroll through the historic streets lined with beautiful architecture.

Tuscany: March is an excellent time to visit Tuscany as the countryside starts to come to life with blooming flowers and lush greenery. You can explore charming hilltop towns like Siena, San Gimignano, and Montepulciano, visit renowned wineries for wine-tasting tours, and enjoy scenic drives through the rolling hills dotted with vineyards and olive groves. Additionally, March marks the beginning of the spring season, offering pleasant weather for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling.

aerial view of Florence Italy

Rome: March is an excellent time to explore Rome as the weather is mild, making it perfect for sightseeing. You can visit iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican Museums without the intense summer heat or the crowds that peak during the tourist season. Additionally, March hosts various cultural events and festivals, providing a vibrant atmosphere for visitors.

Orvieto: Perched atop a volcanic rock cliff, Orvieto is a picturesque hilltop town known for its stunning cathedral, medieval architecture, and underground tunnels. March is an ideal time to visit Orvieto as you can explore its historic sites, wander through the labyrinthine streets, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside without the tourist crowds.

Book your central Italy tours here!

Southern Italy

Amalfi Coast: March is an ideal time to visit the Amalfi Coast as the weather starts to warm up, and the crowds are thinner than in the summer months. You can explore picturesque coastal towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, hike along scenic trails with blooming flowers, and enjoy the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season.

Guide to Italy in March: Best Places to Visit (2024)

Matera: Matera is famous for its ancient cave dwellings, known as Sassi di Matera, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visiting Matera in March allows you to explore these fascinating cave dwellings and wander through the winding streets of the historic city center without the crowds.

Alberobello: Alberobello is famous for its unique trulli houses, which are traditional Apulian dry stone huts with conical roofs. Visiting Alberobello in March allows you to explore this charming UNESCO World Heritage Site, wander through the picturesque streets lined with trulli houses, and learn about the region’s fascinating history and culture without the peak season tourist crowds.

Guide to Italy in March: Best Places to Visit (2024)

Lecce, Puglia: Known as the “Florence of the South,” Lecce boasts stunning Baroque architecture, ancient ruins, and a lively atmosphere. Visiting Lecce in March allows you to explore its historic city center, visit impressive landmarks such as the Basilica of Santa Croce and the Roman amphitheatre, and enjoy the city’s charming streets and local cuisine without the summer crowds.

Sicily: March is a great time to visit Sicily as the island experiences pleasant weather with fewer tourists. You can explore ancient ruins such as the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, visit historic cities like Palermo and Syracuse, and indulge in Sicilian cuisine while enjoying the early signs of spring in the Mediterranean landscape.

Book your tours of Italy here!

Final thoughts on Italy in March

Since moving to Italy, we’ve been fortunate to visit many cities and towns in the off-season months, and we’ve been surprised that more people are coming to Italy outside the summer months. Whether you come in early March or visit in late March, you’ll find fewer crowds in the iconic cultural sites and museums.

Early Spring is also a wonderful time of the year to explore the natural landscapes, smaller towns, and major cities that all offer something to explore. Unlike the high season, which is full of crowds, higher prices, and high temperatures, March is a good time to enjoy the mild climate and the most beautiful places this country has to offer.

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