March is the month that many northern hemisphere residents begin to shed their winter layers and start to dream of warm days ahead. It’s no different in Italy. It is no different.
It is, therefore, one of the most beautiful times to visit Italy.
Although it can be cold and damp in certain places, especially early in the month of March, a March trip could help you save money and avoid crowds. Here’s some information about the weather and holidays in Italy if you plan to visit it in March.
Weather in Italy, March
The weather in March’s early stages is usually similar to February, which is cold and wet. It’s not uncommon for the weather to become balmy by the end of March. March is a transitional month. The phrase ” in a lion’s den, out as a lamb” doesn’t go unnoticed. However, the weather can be unpredictable.
Visitors will need to bring an umbrella and water-resistant shoes. But don’t take the Italians’ advice. They dress according to the calendar, not the weather conditions. This means that you will still see Italian women wearing full-length fur coats, even though it is a sunny and dry March day. March to them still refers to a cold spring day, regardless of the outside temperature.
The following are the average temperatures for March in different regions of Italy:
- Northern Italy: 35-55degF (2-13degC).
- Central Italy: 45-60degF (7-16degC)
- Southern Italy: 50-60°F (10-16°C)
As always, make sure to check the extended forecast for the place you are actually going before you leave. This will allow you to know in advance if it is unseasonably warm or cold.
Italy’s March Festivals and Holidays
There are two major holidays that fall in March, Easter and Carnival. Both holidays are moving targets that follow the liturgical calendar. However, sometimes both fall in March. Carnival (or Carnevale in Italian), can sometimes begin in February and continue into March. Easter, however, is often in March. To see which Italian holiday or festival is occurring in March, check my calendar. If you are planning a March trip, Carnevale as well as Easter can be considered mini-high season spikes for tourism in Italy.
Other March festivals include the International Women’s Day, (Festa della Donna), on March 8th, where people spray yellow mimosa flowers at the women in their lives. Saint Joseph’s Day, (Festa di San Giuseppe), on March 19th is the Italian Father’s Day.
Open Monuments Weekend is an event in which monuments, palaces, or gardens that are normally closed to the public, open their doors for free (many with no entry fees) for one weekend. It takes place in March. However, the exact weekend varies every year. Verona hosts the annual VinItaly wine conference, while Rome hosts its annual marathon in March.
Why travel to Italy in March?
The weather is unpredictable, as we’ve said before. This doesn’t sound like a selling point. March is not the best month to visit Italy if you want to relax on the beach and hike the Cinque Terre trails. If you have a limited budget and want to visit museums, churches, galleries or shopping, March might be the best month.
The majority of March is not in Italy’s high season. This means that prices for everything, from accommodation to airfare, are generally lower in March. It is also a more peaceful month, which can be a blessing for travelers. However, high-season holidays like Easter and Carnival are always busy, so be aware that prices will go up and there may be fewer hotel rooms available. Also, expect to see larger crowds than what you would experience in summer.
If you travel later in the month, I believe March is a great compromise point for those who are looking to save money while still being in Italy during the winter. This is a good option for those who have visited Italy before but don’t want to do it all.