Are you thinking about traveling to Italy in March and not sure what to expect? You have landed in the very right place. From what to expect from the weather to what to do, we are going to give you all our local’s insights on planning a perfect Italy trip.
March in Italy is a sort of transition month. Why? Because it’s the month when winter steps aside for spring to start, the temperatures start to get milder, the winter slumber is almost over, the tourism season is about to kick off.
This makes it a bit of an unpredictable month and our guide wants to address all the info you need to know to plan a smooth trip and avoid surprises. We talk about what to book ahead, what to pack and wear, and obviously what are the best places to visit and activities to take part in.
Is March a good month to visit Italy?
March is a great month to visit Italy. The tourist season isn’t in full swing yet so visiting even the busier landmarks is not a hassle and smaller crowds allow for a better experience. The weather is definitely more pleasant than in summer because you can walk for hours on end without sweating.
In my opinion, March is a fantastic month to plan your two-week Italy vacation as you can really enjoy it at your own pace. Even if you can stay only 10 days in Italy, it’s going to be a terrific trip with mostly lovely weather, long days, and smaller crowds.
Pros and cons of traveling to Italy in March
- Small crowds. Tourists are starting to arrive in big cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice, but landmarks won’t be as crowded as in the peak seasons such as May or July.
- Better weather. Even though pretty unpredictable, in most regions of Italy, the weather in March is less cold than in February and walking is obviously more pleasant than in the summer months.
- Longer days. In March, the days get longer because of the approaching of the warm season and also because Italy adopts daylight saving time.
- Unpredictable weather. That’s right, even though not the coldest month of the year, March in Italy has in store a good deal of unpredictability for us. The weather can change quite suddenly so better if you come prepared.
- Possible rain. Showers in March in Italy are always around the corner.
- No swimming time. Even if you see clear and sunny skies, you can’t really swim anywhere in Italy in March as the water is still too cold.
Can you go to the beach in Italy in March?
Even though this is the month when spring starts, March in Italy is no beach time. By this, I mean that it’s not sunbathing and swimming time and definitely you can’t go wearing a bikini, but there are plenty of more things you can do on the beach in March.
When it’s calm and sunny, it’s a great time to go for a walk along the beach. In March, several sea resorts around Italy from the Amalfi Coast to Liguria’s Cinque Terre are starting to reopen after the winter slumber so you can enjoy also lunch or dinner with a view, afternoon coffee, or evening drinks.
Is Sorrento or Positano better in March?
I would probably recommend Sorrento or Naples as a base for your trips because Positano, Ravello, and the Amalfi Coast in general are not fully active yet. Sorrento is a bigger town and you have more chances to find a larger choice of hotels and restaurants.
Weather in Italy in March
Is Italy warm in March? Is March a rainy month in Italy? Being when the tourist season starts to kick off, many are the questions world travelers have about planning a trip to Italy in March.
In Italy, we have a saying “Marzo pazzerello, guarda il sole e prendi l’ombrello”, meaning “Crazy March, look at the sun and take the umbrella”. This is to stress how unpredictable the weather in March in Italy is, literally able to change within minutes.
Keep in mind that although March is the month that welcomes spring, for the first three weeks, it’s still winter. This means that warm clothes are necessary and in no way it’s beach time!
Weather in March in northern Italy
As for the other winter months, the northern Italian regions are colder than the south in March, too. Even though this is when spring starts, don’t be mistaken and keep wearing warm clothes if you travel to northern Italy in April.
- Milan: high 14°C (57°F) – low 7°C (44°F)
- Turin: high 14°C (57°F) – low 7°C (44°F)
- Aosta: high 14°C (57°F) – low 2°C (35°F)
- Venice: high 13°C (55°F) – low 4°C (39°F)
- Verona: high 14°C (57°F) – low 4°C (39°F)
- Bologna: high 14°C (57°F) – low 6°C (43°F)
- Ravenna: high 13°C (55°F) – low 6°C (43°F)
- Trieste: high 13°C (55°F) – low 7°C (44°F)
- Trento: high 10°C (50°F) – low 5°C (41°F)
- Bolzano: high 16°C (61°F) – low 3°C (37°F)
- Genoa: high 15°C (59°F) – low 9°C (48°F)
Weather in March in central Italy
Central Italy in March still sees some cold weather, especially at night. Rome enjoys some of the higher temps while cities like L’Aquila and Perugia are slightly colder.
- Rome: high 17°C (63°F) – low 6°C (43°F)
- Viterbo: high 14°C (57°F) – low 4°C (39°F)
- Florence: high 14°C (57°F) – low 1°C (34°F)
- Siena: high 16°C (61°F) – low 4°C (39F°)
- Pisa: high 15°C (59°F) – low 5°C (41°F)
- Lucca: high 15°C (59°F) – low 5°C (41°F)
- Perugia: high 13°C (55°F) – low 2°C (35°F)
- Assisi: high 13°C (55°F) – low 2°C (35°F)
- Arezzo: high 15°C (59°F) – low 4°C (39°F)
- L’Aquila: high 10°C (50°F) – low 5°C (41°F)
- Campobasso: high 11°C (52°F) – low 4°C (39°F)
Weather in March in southern Italy
How warm is southern Italy in March? Is Amalfi warm in March? Southern Italy is very popular in summer so as soon as the nice weather starts creeping in, travelers start making plans and inquiries. This is one of the warmest areas in Italy all year round, and spring is a lovely time to enjoy the views without the scorching summer sun.
- Naples: high 17°C (63°F) – low 8°C (46°F)
- Caserta: high 16°C (61°F) – low 7°C (44°F)
- Salerno: high 16°C (61°F) – low 12°C (54°F)
- Amalfi Coast: high 16°C (61°F) – low 12°C (54°F)
- Sorrento: high 19°C (66°F) – low 13°C (55°F)
- Positano: high 19°C (66°F) – low 13°C (55°F)
- Bari: high 15°C (59°F) – low 6°C (43°F)
- Foggia: high 15°C (59°F) – low 8°C (46°F)
- Lecce: high 16°C (61°F) – low 7°C (44°F)
- Alberobello: high 13°C (55°F) – low 4°C (39°F)
- Ostuni: high 14°C (57°F) – low 8°C (46°F)
- Reggio Calabria: high 17°C (63°F) – low 10°C (50°F)
- Matera: high 13°C (55°F) – low 4°C (39°F)
Weather in March in the Italian islands
In March, Sicily is slightly warmer than Sardinia, but both regions are perfect for sightseeing. Even though they are famous for their wonderful beaches, the temperatures are still not warm enough to sunbathe and swim as the water is still very cold.
- Palermo: high 17°C (63°F) – low 11°C (52°F)
- Agrigento: high 16°C (61°F) – low 10°C (50°F)
- Catania: high 18°C (64°F) – low 6°C (43°F)
- Taormina: high 16°C (61°F) – low 10°C (50°F)
- Siracusa: high 18°C (64°F) – low 10°C (50°F)
- Ragusa: high 18°C (64°F) – low 12°C (54°F)
- Cagliari: high 17°C (63°F) – low 7°C (44°F)
- Sassari: high 13°C (55°F) – low 9°C (48°F)
- Palau: high 14°C (57°F) – low 9°C (48°F)
- Nuoro: high 14°C (57°F) – low 5°C (41°F)
- Oristano: high 15°C (59°F) – low 10°C (50°F)
Important dates in Italy in March 2023
Except in the years of early Easter, usually, March in Italy is not a holiday month. There are, however, a few dates to mark if you like to blend in and take part in some local events.
- March 8th – International Women’s Day. Women’s Day in Italy is not a holiday and is usually celebrated in the evening by couples or groups of friends who go out for dinner or themed parties.
- March 19th – Father’s Day. Father’s Day is also not a holiday in Italy but you will see several themed events to celebrate fatherhood with children and their families, especially in parks or some kids-friendly restaurants.
- March 26th – Daylight saving time. On the night between Saturday 25th of March and Sunday 26th at 2 am, the time in Italy changes and you need to set your clock forward one hour.
- Lent. In 2023, Easter is on April 9th so the whole month of March is the Lent period. This doesn’t involve any particular holidays.
What to do in Italy in March
Join a local festival
From the Eurochocolate in Perugia, Umbria, to the Mandorlo in Fiore festival in Agrigento, Sicily, In Italy in March there are several local fairs. Whether you are a cultural traveler, a foodie, or a photography enthusiast, Italy delivers for pretty much any passion and preference.
The nice weather and long days will help you enjoy the festival and take memorable pictures.
Celebrate Women’s Day
You will understand that Women’s Day is coming because the city will be filled with fluffy, yellow bunches of mimosa flowers around every corner. If you want to buy mimosa for the women close to you, you can find them in all flower shops as well as all flower street vendors in the city center who will have promptly switched their roses for the seasonal yellow blossoms.
Women’s Day is also celebrated with a nice dinner, by joining a themed party at a local nightclub, or attending a live concert. Wherever you are, ask your hotel’s reception for any occasion in plan in their city and they will be happy to help.
Celebrate Father’s Day
On the 19th of March, in Italy, we celebrate San Giuseppe, Saint Joseph, and traditionally it’s Father’s Day. This is a lovely occasion to enjoy your time with your family by taking part in children’s and kids’ themed events and scavenger hunts in parks, restaurants, or museums. Do you need an idea?
In Rome, you can visit Explora Museum where they have different sections and activities depending on the age of your children. Whether you are traveling to Rome with a toddler or with older kids, Explora will have something planned out for every age.
Are you in the Liguria region? Don’t miss the wonderful Aquarium, one of the coolest places to visit in Genoa, where they will probably have special activities and multimedia installments for the day.
If you are in Veneto, the famous Gardaland entertainment park will certainly organize activities and promotions for the special day.
Visit an art city
Even though spring officially kicks off towards the end of the month, March in Italy is a lovely month for sightseeing.
The weather is very walking-friendly because it doesn’t get too cold anymore and it’s not too hot yet. When it’s a bit colder, wear an extra layer and you will be fine, and if it rains, duck into a cozy coffee shop for a coffee or cappuccino, and don’t worry, showers in March hardly last.
This is a fantastic time to explore Rome’s open-air ancient sites and archaeological sites like Ostia Antica, Pompeii, and Paestum. March is the month to discover the best things to do in Florence, visit beautiful cities like Verona, and also make a trendy trip to Milan for its art and fashion hubs.
Lovers of hiking and outdoor activities will be spoilt for choice over where to go in Italy in March. You can do some hiking along the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast or the Cinque Terre for beautiful views.
The ski resorts of Trentino-Alto Adige’s Dolomites are still open through March, some even in April, when the winter season ends and locals get ready for the busy summer season.
Some places you can visit to hike in Trentino include Merano and its surroundings, Plose in the Isarco Valley, and the wonderful Val Gardena. If you don’t feel like skiing, don’t worry because in March in Trentino there is much more you can do such as walking in the woods, tasting local foods, and exploring quaint towns.
Best places to visit in March in Italy
There’s hardly a bad time to visit Rome, but if you like quiet and are not scared by occasional rain showers, March is the month for you. Visiting the Colosseum and other busy landmarks is easier because of the shorter lines and you can actually enjoy the places.
For the sights that usually see the biggest crowds such as the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums, I still recommend booking online your skip-the-line entrance or joining a private tour inclusive of a fast-track access.
Rome in March enjoys a lovely light, temperatures start getting warmer, and days are longer. The onset of spring is visible also from the colorful flowers placed in the main squares and blossoming on the trees. This is a fantastic time to discover Rome’s wonderful squares, the gorgeous Roman fountains, and the city’s panoramic viewpoints.
Winter is waving goodbye and tourist resorts such as the always-popular Amalfi Coast are getting ready to welcome the crowds. Restaurants and hotels are slowly reopening their doors, and local tourist services are available to help and assist.
This is a great time to explore more of the region, too, so apart from the Amalfi Coast and its scenic cliffside Positano town, you can visit Sorrento in the Sorrentine Peninsula facing the Bay of Naples, the beautiful Positano, and take a ferry to Capri or Ischia islands from Naples.
As I mentioned before, I suggest booking your hotel in Naples or Sorrento because the Amalfi Coast is still slowly emerging from winter hibernation.
Naples is one of my favorite cities in southern Italy. Enjoying a mild climate all year round, sightseeing in Naples in March is lovely. The weather is still a bit chilly but pleasant to walk around without sweating.
This is a great time to visit landmarks such as the Veiled Christ, the Duomo, and Maschio Angioino castle, walk in the central Spaccanapoli area and tuck into a delicious pizza.
March in Naples allows for lovely walks under the sun and along the beach, but it’s not time for swimming as temperatures are still cold and the water didn’t have the time to warm up.
Pompeii is a huge archaeological site that you can hardly visit in half a day. You can either stay a whole day or just visit half of it. I suggest booking a local guide because it will give a boost to your experience.
Because it’s so vast, open-air, and mostly uncovered, exploring it in summer is really challenging. Trust me, I did that and will never forget the sweating and the unforgiving sun. The next time I will visit Pompeii, it will certainly be any season but summer. If you are visiting Italy in March, this is a great month for this important landmark.
Right after the excitement of the Venice Carnival, in March the city is more tranquil and waits for the spring to unfold. Since there’s hardly a more scenic city than Venice, seize the occasion of tranquil streets and small crowds for a walk around its beautiful canals and bridges.
More importantly, as spring approaches, there will be less chance of flooding, and also humidity levels will be lower.
Appreciate the arrival of the new season in its longer days, colors, and scents, and take plenty of suggestive pictures of the local balconies leaning towards the water and full of flowers.
Florence really needs very little introduction. One of the most famous cities in Italy, so any time is a good time to visit. March, as spring approaches, is a great time to make Florence your base to explore more of Tuscany.
There are many easy day trips from Florence you can take to enjoy the natural landscape, the culture, and the traditions of its region. Soak in the greenery of the Chianti vineyards, visit medieval towns such as Siena and Lucca, pose in front of the Leaning Tower in Pisa, and relax in the soft rolling hills of the Val D’Orcia.
Perugia in winter is very cold, and even though March is when spring begins, don’t expect very mild temperatures. It doesn’t really rain much but expect chilly weather.
The main event taking place in Perugia in March and attracting thousands of visitors daily is Eurochocolate, a chocolate-themed kermess that in 2023 will be between March 24th and April 2nd. This is the very end of the month so you will most likely find warmer temperatures, longer days, and overall better weather.
Lapping the shores of Lombardia, Veneto, and Trentino-Alto Adige, Lago di Garda is Italy’s largest lake. While March is still chilly at times, with spring approaching, it’s a nice month to visit. Being so huge and touching many towns, there are many places around Lake Garda you can go to.
Fans of outdoor activities and natural landscapes will love their holiday here. You can explore sights like Heller Garden which, after the winter break, reopens in March and displays over 3000 plant species together with works of Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Auguste Rodin, and Fernand Leger among others.
If you are into parks, a gorgeous one is Parco Sigurtà, located close to Peschiera del Garda in the Veneto region. After the usual winter closure, Parco Sigurtà reopens to the public on March 5th. Extending for over 600.000 square meters, enjoying the colors of spring here is a sensory overload starting with the tulip exhibition and a tribute to women on March 6th, 7th, and 8th when all women will enjoy free entrance.
For sure, if you are a fan of hiking and outdoor activities, the Cinque Terre is a fantastic place to do that and March offers great views and pleasant temperatures. The weather in March on the Italian Riviera will still be a bit chilly but the hiking routes will open again and the views are great.
Hike through the five towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, and Manarola, and take the train to reach nearby Levanto, the gorgeous Portovenere, and sea resorts like Lerici and Tellaro.
In March, Agrigento shows off all its natural wonders, trees are blossoming, and spring is improving everyone’s mood. Agrigento is a lovely place to visit in March in Italy because of its annual literary festival known as Mandorlo in Fiore, Italian standing for “blossoming almond tree”. The 2023 edition of the Mandorlo in Fiore festival will take place between the 5th and the 12th of March.
During this festival, you can take part in the many activities organized for the occasion such as live shows and concerts, cooking shows, and educational workshops. Since you are in Agrigento, you really don’t want to miss a visit to the fantastic Valle dei Templi ancient Greek city, one of the highlights of the area.
The white town of Ostuni in Puglia, the heel of Italy, is a fantastic town to visit any time of the year but obviously, spring is the best time because of the great weather. Even though March is still a little cold, it’s much less crowded than the rest of the spring months April and May so walking around Ostuni’s alleys is more peaceful and pleasant.
What to book ahead for Italy in March
- International flights. March is not Italy’s highest season but tourists are starting to flock, so if you are limited in your options and this is really the only time you can take your vacation, I recommend booking your airplane ticket well in advance to avoid surprises.
- Domestic travel. The same applies to domestic travel, be it trains or flights. Check out the different railway companies and airlines for availability and prices and make your itinerary ahead of time.
- Hotels. While cities like Rome and Florence have a large choice of hotels so if you can’t find a room in one you can easily switch to another, smaller towns might have fewer options, and booking early is your best bet.
- Restaurants. This is more recommended on days when you can predict some crowds such as Women’s Day or weekends.
- Famous landmarks. Sights like the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, and Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence can get very busy, especially on weekends. Book ahead online to secure your spot.
- Tickets to events. If you are planning to attend important events such as Perugia’s Eurochocolate, booking your tickets ahead is a good idea. They are very crowded and don’t want to wait in vain in line.
What to pack for Italy in March
- Travel documents. If you are from the European Union, your national ID paper will be enough. If you are coming from another continent, your passport is required, and a visa, too, depending on your nationality.
- Umbrella. Don’t forget to pack a foldable umbrella to carry around with you during the day.
- Backpack/crossbody bag. Handy to carry your valuables. A crossbody bag is a better option if you are visiting landmarks like the Colosseum where backpacks are not allowed.
- Camera. Italy is very picturesque, don’t forget your best camera!
- Reusable water bottle. This is very handy to refill with drinkable water from your hotel or restaurant so that you don’t have to buy a new one every time. Tap water in Italy is safe and good, so you can refill your bottle wherever you are.
- Creams and skincare products. Not always hotels include face creams and skincare products so better you pack your own.
- Medicines. In Italian pharmacies, you are going to find everything, but if you need medicines that require a prescription, I suggest you pack them from home as pharmacies might not be allowed to give them to you.
What to wear in March in Italy
- Underwear tops. These are great for layering, crucial in Italy in March.
- Sweaters/jumpers. March in Italy still requires heavy clothing, so sweaters and jumpers are the way to go.
- Long-sleeve tops. Wearing a top underneath your sweater is also great for layering, the secret to a comfortable trip to Italy in March.
- Winter coat or jacket. The warm season is coming but it’s not here yet, so a coat or winter jacket is still necessary, especially in the evening but sometimes also during the day. Also, keep in mind that the weather changes depending on the region and the north is always colder than the south.
- Lighter jacket. When outside it’s warm and sunny, particularly in the early afternoon, a light jacket might be preferable to a heavy coat.
- Walking shoes. A must wherever in Italy you go.
- Ankle boots. An extra pair of shoes is recommended and since it might rain, ankle boots are a good choice.
- Socks/tights. Not really time for barefoot sandals, so socks are necessary, or tights if you wear a skirt.
- Warm trousers. Very warm days at the end of the month might call for light spring trousers, but early days in northern regions still require wool or heavy cotton trousers.
- Hat and scarf. I suggest you pack a hat and a scarf to be sure. I use them all the way through May.
- Sunglasses. That’s right, the sun starts to be bright enough to make sunglasses a necessary item to pack.