Best places to visit in Italy in March

Gran Paradiso National Park - The best places to visit in Italy in Marcch

March marks the transition between winter and spring and it shows great climatic variability and instability: be prepared to rapidly switch from warm sun to a shower of rain and always bring a wind jacket and a sweater with you! If Easter is in March, you’ d better avoid the most popular destinations, because they tend to get very crowded during that particular week of the year. In March, there are two special events in Italy: the Women’s Day (March 8th), when it’s a common habit to offer a mimosa to ladies of any age, and the Father’s Day (March 19th) when it’s a popular custom to eat “zeppole” (deep-fried dough filled with custard and sprinkled with icing sugar), especially in Naples and Southern Italy in general.

March is the perfect month for getting active and enjoying the open air after the cold winter. It’s the ideal period for sport and sightseeing.

Best things to do in Italy in March

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1. Your favorite outdoor activity in Riva del Garda (Trentino Alto Adige)

What: Riva del Garda is a small town on Garda Lake in Trentino Alto Adige. It’s a popular mountain destination and it’s especially loved by adventure and nature lovers. Here you can choose among many activities such as trekking, climbing, running, biking, diving, kayaking, and sailing.

What to see: Ponale trail, which is one of the most panoramic trails of the area, the church of S. Barbara, which is perched on top of a high hill and the Fortress, which is an old castle with a drawbridge and it houses an interesting archeological museum.

How long: 4-5 days

Why March: even though it’s still quite cold in the mountains, nature is starting to blossom and it’s nice to be in the open-air again after winter.

Weather: the average temperature is 8°C with an alternation of sun and clouds.

Practical tips: have a look at this map showing all the outdoor activities you can do in Riva del Garda 

2. See the famous leaning tower of Pisa (Tuscany)

Pisa Cathedral and the Leaning Tower - Things to do in Tuscany

What: Pisa is one of the main cities of Tuscany and it has become worldwide famous for its iconic leaning tower. The construction works began in 1173, but after having built the first two floors, the tower started to lean on one side. Since it did not fall, it was decided that it was ok to complete it, but the project went on for almost 2 centuries, due to the huge difficulties in the construction. The gradient has never ceased to increase and periodical maintenance works are needed!

What to see: the beautiful Square of Miracles is rich in monuments! After visiting the leaning tower, don’t miss the Cathedral dedicated to S. Maria Assunta and the Baptistery with its many sculptures. Other interesting spots are the Knights’ Square in Renaissance style and the monumental cemetery, where the most important local figures are buried.

How long: 1 day trip from Florence

Why March: the arrival of spring it’s the perfect period to go sightseeing and visit the main Italian monuments.

Weather: the average temperature is 12°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: the leaning tower is always very crowded and the line is long, so you’d better arrive towards 8.30-9 a.m. to be sure of entering early. A guided tour is also a very good choice to maximize your time in Pisa. If you are not interested in a tour and want to visit the leaning tower you should buy skip the line tickets here. 

You might want to check:  How to spend one day in Pisa. 

3. Enjoy the arrival of spring in Orcia Valley (Tuscany)

What: Orcia Valley is a countryside area in Tuscany which is characterized by hills, cultivated fields, vineyards, and small villages. It was especially celebrated by the painters of the Renaissance period and it became the symbol of idyllic country life.

What to see: among the most picturesque towns you can visit Pienza (romantic and quiet), Montalcino (to taste its renowned wine called Brunello) and Bagno Vignoni (a popular spa resort).

How long: 1 weekend

Why March: because of its mild climate and the beautiful spring landscape. Most tourists go there in summer, so now you can enjoy a more authentic atmosphere.

Weather: the average temperature is 12°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: stay at a local farmhouse to make the best out of your weekend in the countryside. Choose a location also offering local wine tastings.

4. Visit the historic towns of San Gimignano & Volterra (Tuscany)

What: these medieval towns are often visited together and they are immersed in the beautiful hilly countryside that is typical of this Region. They are both rich in ancient buildings, towers, narrow alleys, and old city walls. They also keep many traces of the Etruscan period.

What to see: the highlights of San Gimignano are the richly decorated cathedral, the nice Piazza della Cisterna, and the panoramic Montestaffoli Fortress. You can start exploring Volterra from Palazzo dei Priori, which is really similar to Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Don’t miss the Romanic cathedral and the baptistery and save some time to learn more about the Etruscan civilization at the Guarnacci Museum.

How long: 3-4 days

Why March: to enjoy the surrounding hilly landscape and to be able to visit these two gems without the crowds of tourists arriving later in spring.

Weather: the average temperature is 12°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: choose either Pisa or Siena as the starting points of your visit!

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5. Imagine being a king or a queen for a day at the royal palace of Venaria (Piemonte)

What: this was a former residence of the kings of Italy and it is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It is located close to Turin and it was used as a royal hunting reserve. It is really huge: 80.000 square meters of palace and 60 hectares of park. Here you’ll learn more about the royal lifestyle and you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful and perfectly maintained park.

What to see: the best option to fully enjoy your visit is taking an audio-guide, otherwise, you might miss something or get confused. The most important points of interest are: the Honor Court with the Water Theater, the Royal Apartments, the Great Gallery, the Royal Stable and the park with its central canal and its orchard.

How long: 1day trip from Turin

Why March: the orchard in the park blooms towards the end of the month, so it’s a great period for a visit!

Weather: the average temperature is 12°C with many cloudy and windy days

Practical tips: the best way to enjoy your visit is by renting the technologic audio guide, active both indoor and outdoor. For more information check here. 

6. Enjoy the last snow-shoe walk of the season in Gran Paradiso National Park (Piemonte & Valle d’Aosta)

What: Gran Paradiso National Park offers countless spectacular trails for snowshoeing. The best areas are: Orco Valley and Serrù Lake, Soana Valley, Cogne Valley, and the Lillaz Waterfall, Rhêmes Valley and Valsavarenche.

What to see: one of the best spots to see in late winter/early spring is the frozen Lillaz Waterfall. If you like watching wild animals go to Valsavarenche, where you can admire some wild chamois and ibexes.

How long: 1 weekend

Why March: because it’s the last chance of the year to admire the frozen landscapes of this National Park.

Weather: the average temperature is 2°C with frequent snow. Check the weather forecast before planning your walk and beware of possible avalanches.

Practical tips: if you are not an expert, it’s best to go snow-shoeing with a local guide. 

7. Wander around the Old Town of Naples (Campania)

Where to go in Italy in March - Naples

What: the Old Town of Naples is the largest one in Europe and it covers more than 17Km, which is 15% of the entire city. It is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List and it shows many traces of every historical period, from the Greek era to modern times.  

What to see: the best thing to do to immerse yourself in the authentic local atmosphere is just wandering around the narrow alleys and the picturesque streets of the city center. Another great walk is the underground guided tour leading you to discover a real “city below the city” with its many traces of the Greek and Roman periods as long as some pieces of heritage from World War I and II. Don’t miss the Cathedral and its Museum of the Treasure and save some time to visit the mysterious S. Severo Chapel.

How long: 4-5 days

Why March: you can find mild and sunny weather and the light on the sea is already summer-like! Spring is the best period to go sightseeing in Southern Italy to avoid hot weather.

Weather: the average temperature is 13°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: if you plan to spend some days in Naples, buy a Naples Pass. It is a prepaid card allowing you free access to public transports and offering several discounts for restaurants, guided tours, and attractions. For more information check here. 

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8. Enjoy the arrival of spring on Ischia Island (Campania)

What: Ischia is a small volcanic island located in the Gulf of Naples and it is famous for its natural landscapes and its hot springs. Tourists go there every season to enjoy its baths and its mild climate.

What to see: Maronti beach and its fumaroles, Sorgeto’s Baths to enjoy an open-air swim all year round, the view from the top of Aragonese Castle and the baroque church of S. Maria Assunta.

How long: 1 weekend

Why March: the local natural landscape is particularly beautiful in spring. March is also the perfect time of the year to get ready for the sunny season thanks to a relaxing weekend at the spa!

Weather: the average temperature is 13°C with an alternation of sun and clouds.

Practical tips: choose a hotel including a spa and don’t miss the experience of swimming in the sea surrounded by warm water reaching up to 35°!

9. Trekking on Pantelleria Island (Sicily)

What: Pantelleria is located South from Sicily and it’s only 70Km away from the Tunisian coast. It’s a popular destination for adventure lovers thanks to its wild volcanic landscapes and its 500Km of trekking trails.

What to see: the volcanic lake called “The Mirror of Venus”, which is located inside a former crater in the heart of the island. Another popular spot is the Arch of the Elephant, which is a rocky formation reminding of a proboscis and plunging into the sea. If you like wild places reach Benikulà Cave and try its natural hot steam directly coming out of the rocks.

How long: 1 week

Why March: Scirocco wind starts to blow bringing an early spring

Weather: the average temperature is 13°C with sunny weather

Practical tips: have a look at this updated map to plan your favorite hikes.

10. Visit the picturesque village of Portofino (Liguria)

Portofino - The best places to visit in Italy in March

What: Portofino is a tiny village located near Genoa on the Northern coast of Italy. It is worldwide famous for its glamorous atmosphere and for being one of the favorite destinations of Italian and international celebrities. In summer it’s really crowded, fancy and busy but in other periods it’s just a picturesque and nice fishermen’s village hiding many beautiful pieces of cultural and historical heritage.

What to see: take the time to simply stroll in the streets and sit at a café in the main square to catch some glimpses of authentic local life. Don’t miss the views from the Brown Castle and the Lighthouse and visit the nice churches of S. Giorgio and S. Martino.

How long: 1day trip from Genoa

Why March: to enjoy a quiet and authentic atmosphere avoiding the crowds and the frenzy of the summer months.

Weather: the average temperature is 12°C with frequent rainfalls

Practical information: if you still have some time and it’s a sunny day, enjoy a pleasant scenic walk and reach the beautiful S. Fruttuoso Abbey.

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