Coming to Rome in March? Plan for it to be a little chilly and rainy. March is still mostly a winter month.
But it's also the calm before the storm.
The crowds are not quite here yet, but they are on the way.
Here's what you need to know:
I've lived in Rome since 2001.
It never fails.
Every single year, on March 1, I somehow expect it to be spring, because "March is a spring month."
The reality is that it's never spring in the beginning of March (in fact, spring technically begins on March 20.)
I am always chagrined to find the beginning of March full of blustery cold days, with plenty of rain and sometimes sleet.
The cooler period in Rome lasts from November through to March so it is not as warm as I want it to be!
And I think this is one reason the beginning of March in Rome is still low season.
It is, after all, still winter. And school vacations are not in swing yet.
But there is inevitably one day in March - it changes from year to year - sometime late in the first half, when I start seeing tour buses all around Rome. And school groups.
And then I know.
Spring is almost here, and high season is just around the corner.
As for rain, well yes, March can be a rainier month than others, because it's spring/pre-spring.
But it's hit or miss, and sometimes you just have glorious blue-sky days in March in Rome.
When packing for Rome in March be sure to think about layers.
The weather can be a bit unsettled, going from sunshine to rain showers very quickly so it's best to be prepared, summer is a few months away still!
If the sun is shining it can feel warm so pack a mix of lighter and heavier layers, as well as a good raincoat or waterproof jacket to keep you dry if it does start raining unexpectedly.
Visit my page all about what to pack for Rome in March for specific recommendations, suggestions on what to wear in Rome in March and more!
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Visit my dedicated pages about what to pack for Rome for every spring month:
For sight-seeing in March in Rome, here is the ideal way to dress:
As always, be comfortable: wear comfortable walking shoes, good socks, breathable fabrics, and enough layers to keep you warm, especially in the evening.
The first half of March will still be wintery cold, certainly at night.
And March is a rainy month, so be prepared.
But in those first two weeks, it's also still fairly quiet in Rome.
If you want to visit Rome on a budget, you will find great deals on accommodations in the beginning of March.
Not a lot is happening just yet.
If you come the second two weeks, be prepared for crowds, in particular school groups.
But you should plan for it, and book some things ahead.
There are some things that happen every March in Rome. Here are some dates to watch for:
March 8 - International Women's Day, a major international holiday around the world.
Although it's not a bank holiday, it's still widely recognized.
The tradition is to give some mimosa flowers to the women in your life. Look for them around Rome in early March.
March 9 - the Feast Day of St. Frances of Rome. She founded an order called the Olivetan Oblates of Mary, and eventually the Tor de' Specchi monastery, right near Capitoline Hill.
The monastery is only open on March 9 each year. It's free to visit but you may find a line and some crowds. But it's really worth a look if you are in Rome that day.
March 15 - The Ides of March
On this day in 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was assassinated by members of the Senate.
Every year on or around this date, you can attend a free re-enactment of this momentous occasion, which takes place where the actual assassination happened, in Largo Argentina.
March 19 - Father's Day in Italy, La Festa di San Giuseppe.
Giuseppe is Italian for Joseph and of course Father's Day here is named for the one of the most famous fathers, at least in Catholic history.
The best part about this holiday are the pastries dedicated to it - the bignè di San Giuseppe, which are cream-filled puff pastries.
The last Sunday of March is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time in Europe (this date differs from the U.S. and some other parts of the world).
We LOSE one hour.
Be aware of this if you have any Sunday morning plans, like a tour or flight.
The Rome Marathon, usually held around either the last Sunday in March or first Sunday in April, will be held on Sunday March 19 2023.
It is still artichoke season (globe artichokes), but you will also still see plenty of winter greens too: puntarelle, broccoletti, broccolo romanesco, and chicory.
Asparagus and strawberries are also starting to show up.
There is also a very particular green to get in early spring: agretti. Agretti look like grass, taste like spinach, and are a very seasonal, very Roman green.
For a detailed listing of fruits and vegetables in season in Rome in March, visit my friends' fabulous website Casa Mia.
Some of my favorite seasonal things to eat in Rome in March include artichokes and agretti (pictured above), and Sicilian blood oranges.
March is still cool and that means it's great sight-seeing weather.
So one of the best things you can do in Rome in March is be a tourist, and enjoy the city and sites on foot.
On the Free Sunday you can visit Rome's museums for free.
The Vatican Museums are free on the last Sunday of the month, for limited hours.
Visit my page about March events in Rome for more details.
Maybe it's your 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) time in Rome.
Or you have more than 3 days here. Or you just want to see and do lots of fun things.
Besides the obvious must-see tourist attractions, there are lots of great things to see and do in Rome in March. Here are some ideas for your visit:
There are so many great options for taking cooking classes in Rome! From pizza-making to learning to make fresh pasta, to going shopping with the chef and making a home-cooked meal at his/her house!
This is all the rage now.
Zipping around Rome either on the back of a vespa or driving one on your own can be a fun and fascinating way to see the Eternal city.
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It's always a good idea to visit one of Rome's wonderful museums.
March is a great time to visit the Galleria Borghese, with its amazing Bernini sculptures and Caravaggio paintings.
Make sure to book ahead!
One of my favorite museums in Rome is the Capitoline Museums. These museums comprise some of the most extensive and comprehensive displays of painting, sculpture, artefacts and architecture in the world.
Open daily from 9:30am - 7:30pm. 15€.
Book in advance if you can. It's not always possible to just turn up without booking.
This is the time of year I'd visit St. Peter's tomb under the Vatican.
Because I went in August one year thinking it would be "cool", and instead I was roasting.
They seal you into every room you go into, so it's quite hot.
So in chilly March, this is not only a great thing to see, but a great way to be warm in an awesome place!
I've listed some of what I think are the most fascinating events, and most central in Rome. For a complete list of events in Rome in March, visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.