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Rome in March
To be Updated for 2020

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.

Cool weather, grey skies make for perfect sight-seeing weather in March in Rome!March is a beautiful time to be in Rome! It's still mostly winter, which means cool temps, and not too may people - yet!

Rome in March - At a Glance

Here's what you need to know:

Weather in Rome Italy in March

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 22).

I am always chagrined to find the beginning of March full of blustery cold days, with plenty of rain and chill, and sometime sleet.

via margutta in mid-marchVia Margutta in mid-March, lots of bare branches and grey skies

And I think this is one reason the beginning of March 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.

wistera appia anticaBy the end of March in Rome, wisteria starts appearing everywhere, like here on the Appia Antica

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.

What to Pack for Rome in March

I walk around Rome year-round. I walk to and from work. I walk (jog - ahem) for exercise. And I just walk as much as I can because, well, it's Rome! So believe me I know how to dress in Rome, in any month.

These are my personal recommendations for your visit to Rome in March, many of which I own and use:

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Aside from the usual packing stuff you should bring for Rome, don't forget to pack:

My husband inspired me to get a rain hat. He was always wearing one for walking around Rome, and I got one for myself too! I love this one because it's quilted perfect for cold winter rain (or snow!)

This waterproof rain boonie hat is similar to what my husband wears. When it's raining in Rome, he doesn't leave home without it!

I own these e-tip gloves and just love them. They are perfect for cold weather, and I can keep them on while I use my phone to make calls or take pix.

I've washed them more than once, and they look brand new. 

A scarf is a must at any time of year in Rome. In winter, I love having a large pashmina which I find more versatile than just an oblong scarf. And I like a blend of cashmere and silk because it's not overly hot, and it doesn't make me itch.

Bonus - these are great for the plane ride too!

In Italy, men wear scarves year-round. It's partly for the fashion and mostly because Italians have a firm belief in always keeping your neck warm.

Unless you have a need for anything fancier, the best jacket you can wear when sight-seeing in Rome in February is a water-proof hiking jacket, with removable lining.

I have several for when I hike, and I wear them in Rome in winter. They are perfect! Mine are Colombia (like the one pictured) and North Face but there are a lot of great brands.

Here is a men's version of the same kind of jacket: waterproof, sporty, and with removable lining. It's actually 3 jackets in one!

It doesn't hurt to travel in Rome (or anywhere) with a good travel umbrella. You can always buy one here, even off a street vendor.

I love mine, that has features like wind-resistant ribs, and a cool open AND close button.

Heavy cotton pants or comfortable jeans are an excellent idea for men, women, and children alike.

warm cardigan, pullover, or turtleneck is a good idea.

Even when you take off your jacket, you will still be warm and cozy.

half-zip or full-zip fleece is another way to be warm and comfortable while sight-seeing in Rome.

It's also easy to pack in your luggage, and to ball up and carry around in a small backpack.

Another handy thing to pack for rainy weather in Rome is a light rain poncho. I've seen so many people shelling out money to street vendors when it rains unexpectedly in Rome. Bring your own and come prepared.

For more packing tips, and a downloadable packing list, visit my page about What to Pack for Rome.

What to Wear in Rome in March

For sight-seeing in March in Rome, here is the ideal way to dress:

  • Extremely comfortable shoes/sturdy walking sandals
  • Sturdy cotton long pants or jeans, or a long skirt
  • Long-sleeved henley or polo shirt or other medium weight cotton top
  • Warm cardigan or pullover in your bag
  • A water-proof jacket in your bag (or get a waterproof jacket with removable liner)
  • Warm scarf for men and women

March is one of those months that can have wildly varying weather days, and even a lot of variation during any given day. So layering is a good idea. One of your layers should be a waterproof jacket.

And don't forget the scarf! Men and women, yes, a scarf. Trust me.

how people dress in march in romeHow people dress in Rome in March - jackets, layers and scarves!

Jeans or other heavy cotton pants are great since it's still cool in March. I also suggest wearing a light cotton short-sleeved shirt, like t-shirt or polo, so you could get down to bare arms if it gets warm out.

As always, be comfortable: wear comfortable walking shoes, good socks, breathable fabrics, and enough layers to keep you warm.



March in Rome - What to Expect

Is it crowded in March in Rome?

The first half of March will still be wintery cold, certainly at night. And March is a rainy month, so be prepared.

top of spanish steps winter in romeTop of the Spanish Steps looking out over via Condotti. In early March, still a winter month, it can still be fairly quiet in Rome.

But in those first two weeks, it's also still fairly quiet in Rome. Not a lot is happening just yet.

If you come the second two weeks, be prepared for crowds, in particular school groups.

arch of constantineAs the days get warmer and sunnier, towards the second half of March, expect more and more crowds in Rome.

This does not mean it's a bad time to come to Rome.

But you should plan for it, and book some things ahead.

The Romewise 2020 Wall Calendar - Get Yours Now! (30% off with code 30OFFQ12020)

What's Happening in Rome in March

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 (for some reason that escapes me, it's barely heard of in the U.S.).

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. In early March, you will see a lot of these flowers for sale in Rome.

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.

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, Tourism Ireland lights up the Colosseum in green. This is part of their #globalgreening initiative. They light up other monuments around Europe, too.

The lighting is from around 9-11pm.

March 19 - Father's Day in Italy. It's called 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.

Why is this important if you're visiting Rome in March? Why, because you will want to load up on, or at least try, some bignet di San Giuseppe, which are pastry bombs filled with cream. A must!

As March 19 is a Christian holiday, St. Joseph's Day, the Vatican Museums will be closed on this day.

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 perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.

Foods in Season in Rome in March

It is still artichoke season (globe artichokes), but you will also still see plenty of winter greens too: puntarellebroccolettibroccolo 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. 

agretti al limone at settimio al pellegrinoAgretti al limone (simply boiled and served with lemon and olive oil), at Settimio al Pellegrino in Rome

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.

Want to know more about Rome cuisine? Click here.

Rome in March - things to do

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.

Free Things to do in Rome in March


MARCH 2019 NEWS!!!


As of January 2019, there are new rules for offering free entry to state-run archeological sites and museums (such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Castel Sant'Angelo, and more.)

The new regulations will kick off with a "week of culture", from 5-10 March 2019 inclusive (confirmed!)

From then on, the rules about the "Free Sunday" will change, but it's not yet totally clear how this will affect visitors to Rome in high season. It is up to each city to decide how to use the total of 22 "free days" allowed each year. Stay tuned for details for months from April onwards.

Another aspect of the new regulations being proposed is that everyone under 18 will be able to enter sate sites and museums FREE, while everyone from 18-25 will be able to enter for only 2€. So far, I only see that people under 18 are allowed free entry, while the price for the Colosseum for 18-25 years olds remains 7:50€.

This is still all under development. Please keep checking back, as I will update it as the rules are confirmed and officially announced.


In recent years, on the first Sunday of March, state-run museums, archeological sites in Italy would have been free. In 2019, there will not be a free Sunday. Instead, state sites in Rome (and other parts of Italy) will be free for all visitors from 5-10 March inclusive (and not Sunday March 3).

For a complete listing of all the sites and museums that are free on March 3, 2019, visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.

Either way, on March 8 city-run museums and archaeological sites (like the Capitoline Museums, Trajan's Market, Ara Pacis, to name a few) are free for women (only), in honor of International Women's Day (if you like to use/find hashtags, here it is: #8marzoalmuseo.)

visit the colosseum for free on the first sunday of each monthState museums and sites in Italy, like the Colosseum, are (MAY BE) free on the first Sunday of each month. They are also free (for women only) on March 8, in honor of Inernational Women's Day.

For some of these sites, like the Galleria Borghese, you should book in advance. Click here to find out how to avoid the lines at the Colosseum.

Updating for 2020

In other developments in Rome in March 2019, around the Colosseum:

  • From February 26 - March 4 2019, you do not need the S.U.P.E.R. pass to visit these sites on the Palatine Hill: Palatine Museum, Neronian Cryptoportico, Aula Isiaca and Temple of Romulus.
  • From March 5-10 inclusive (Culture Week), the above sites, as well as the other sites on the S.U.P.E.R. ticket, will be closed.
  • From March 1, if you have a Roma Pass or any other kind of Rome city pass, you must book entrance to the Colosseum. You can do this via phone (by calling the phone number 06 39 967 575, at a cost of € 2,00 per person); online, at a cost of € 2,00 per person; or at the  ticket offices of  Roman Forum/Palatine, free of charge, by just showing up and waiting for the next available space.

On the last Sunday of every month, the Vatican Museums are open and they are free.

(This aspect of the free entry each month is not changing. The Vatican is not part of Italy and is not subject to the changes in tourism regulations I've described above.)

sistine chapel michelangeloSistine Chapel - Michelangelo Buonarotti 1508-1512

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, the Vatican Museums are open from 9am - 2pm (normally closed Sundays.) 

If you are on a tight schedule and this is the only day you can go, or if you are on a tight budget, then this is a great opportunity.

But otherwise it is usually better to book your visit ahead of time and pay to go another day. 

Expect large crowds on this day, especially in March.

St. Peter's Basilica and Square are free and open daily.

Remember, on the last Saturday/Sunday in March, we always move to Daylight Saving Time, and LOSE one hour.

Keep this in mind if you are planning to visit the Vatican Museums on the Free Sunday in March.

Things to do indoors in March in Rome


Following are some of the main art and culture exhibits in Rome in March 2020:

Canova. Eternal beauty.

At the Museum of Rome – Palazzo Braschi you can visit an exhibition-event focused on the link between Antonio Canova and the city of Rome, with over 170 works and prestigious loans from important museums and Italian and foreign collections.

Now through March 15, 2020, Palazzo Braschi 10,Piazza di San Pantaleo.

Open daily, from 9.30am to 7pm. Last admission 1 hour before closing time.

Tickets from € 11.00 (reduced).

Secret Impressionists now through 8 March 2020.

Bonaparte Palace - General Space Value Culture, Piazza Venezia 5.

Hours: Monday to Friday 9am - 7pm; Saturday and Sunday 9am - 9pm.

Full price tickets € 17.50.

The first major exhibition entirely dedicated to the history and civilization of one of the most powerful and fascinating cities in the ancient world, Carthage. The immortal myth.

Now through March 29, 2020 in the monumental spaces of the Colosseum and the Roman Foruminside the temple of Romulus and the Imperial Ramp.

This is part of a standard Colosseum/Roman Forum entry ticket. There is no additional cost. Click here to buy tickets to the Colosseum.

Open daily 8:30am - 4:30pm.

Raffaello - A monographic exhibition, with over two hundred masterpieces of paintings, drawings and comparative works, dedicated to Raphael on the 500th anniversary of his death. 

March 5, 2020 - June 2, 2020.

Scuderie del Quirinale, Via XXIV Maggio 16.

Open: sun - Thu 10am - 8pm; Fri - Sat 10am – 10:30pm. 


Full € 15.00; Reduced (ages 18-25) € 13.00.

Free admission up to 6 years, and anyone disabled and their care-giver, with written medical proof. 

Click the photo to visit the official site.

The museum of the Ara Pacis (Augustus' Altar to Peace) is worth visiting all by itself.

Check out the great exhibition at the Ara Pacis Once upon a time there was Sergio Leonewith which Rome celebrates, 30 years after his death and 90 since his birth.

Now through May 2020. Exhibition only Tickets from € 11.00.

You can also visit the museum on weekend nights, and check out "L'Ara Com'Era", which means, the Altar as it Was. Using special Virtual Reality visors, you can see this amazingly intact ancient monument to Augustus, with the original colors and designs, as they probably looked 2000 years ago. Visit the website for exact hours for this exhibit as they change throughout the year.

The museum is open daily from 9:30am - 7:30pm. 10,50€ for the museum, or 12€ for the weekend/night visit "L'Ara Com'Era." See the website about eligibility for discounts.

Indoor concerts to enjoy in Rome in March 2019

Enjoy listening to famous opera songs in the stunning and exclusive Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.

The show includes drinks and dinner.

The Santa Cecilia hall, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, at the Rome Auditorium, is the perfect place to attend a concert. The complex is stunning, and for music lovers, the acoustics are just outstanding.

Click here for a schedule of concerts, and to buy tickets.

See the "The Traviata Experience" in a beautiful church setting.

You will be treated to a show that is part opera, part play, with English translations.

Enjoy a opera singing by Orchestra I Virtuosi dell’opera di Roma inside the church of St. Paul's within the Walls.

These wonderful opera singers put on a mini-production of La Traviata in full costume.

Take in a concert by one of Italy's most famed and loved pop singers, Eros Ramazzotti.

Dates in Rome include March 12, 13, 15, 16, 2019.

Buy tickets here. From 46€.

Check out Joe Jackson on his four-decade tour.

March 19, 2019

Buy tickets here. From 29€.

Don't miss famed British blues singer-songwriter-guitarist John Mayall on his 85th anniversary tour.

March 26, 2019.

Buy tickets here. From 34.50€.

Museums to visit in Rome in March

Whether it's cold and rainy or not, it's always a good idea to visit one of Rome's many museums, including the Vatican MuseumsGalleria Borghese, Doria Pamphilj, and of course the Capitoline Museums.


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:

Take a cooking class.

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!

Click here to view cooking class options in US$, and here to view Rome cooking class options in other currencies.

Take a day trip

We are close to so many things, like PompeiiOstia AnticaTivoliFlorence and much more!

Take a bicycle tour.

You can go out onto the Appia Antica, a lovely area to tour by bike. You can also try one of Rome's newest tours, by electric bike. What a great way to see the sites, get some exercise but not get too over-exerted.

Click here to view Rome bike tours options in US$, and here to view Rome bike tours in other currencies.

Take an art class.

This is all the rage now. You want to learn to fresco? sketch? make mosaics? How about pottery? Want to include a little wine-sipping with your art? Rome inspires! Get creative!

Click here to view Rome art activities in US$, and here to view Rome art activities in other currencies.

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.

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Rome in March - what the weather's like, what to pack, and what to expect. By Romewise.

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