Rome in March

Our ultimate guide to Rome in March. 

Rome sees a rise in visitors in March, who take advantage of the warming weather to explore archaeological sites at length and make a trip to the beach. March is not yet high season, and hotels are affordable.   The end of the winter season in the Italian capital is far from dreary.  It comes alive with a rich program of exhibitions and shows, and the pleasure of walking in the evening with sunsets that outline to perfection the domes of the center in a colorful sky.

There are always many visitors to Rome. It doesn't matter if you are interested in archaeology, art, churches, or culinary arts, Rome has something to offer everyone.

Useful tips for visiting Rome in March

Climate and clothing

According to statistics, the maximum temperatures in Rome in March are 17 ° C, the minimum temperatures at 6 ° C.  Romans dress in skirts and rolled up pants reflect the changing over into spring wardrobes.  However, keep in mind that your clothes should cover your knees if you want to visit the Vatican, catacombs or other religious sites.

It may rain occasionally in March, so make sure to have an umbrella handy.  Since it can get hot in the sun during the day and cold at night, be flexible with clothes.  An extra layer is recommended if you are planning to stay out all day, are at least have a light rain cover with you.   Comfortable shoes in Rome are important, as walking is one of the best ways to see the city, and the sidewalks are often damaged.

What to do in Rome in the rain?

Visit the Pantheon

The apex of the Pantheon's dome has a central hole, a circular opening of 9 meters.

It is said that when it rains in Rome, the drops of water are unable to enter through the hole due to a system of rising air currents.

The only way (and most fun way) to verify if what the legend says is true is to enter the Pantheon when it rains in Rome and see for yourself.

If after checking, with your eyes and your hands, whether raindrops fall from the hole in the Pantheon or not, and you feel like a coffee, you're in the right place!  Head to Caffè Sant'Eustachio, considered by many to be the best in Rome.

In Piazza Sant'Eustachio, 200 meters from Piazza della Rotonda where the Pantheon is located, there is a small roasting company founded in 1938.  We recommend that you go in and, with lots of swagger as if you’ve been a thousand times, order the Gran Caffè, or the gran cappuccino or the monachella with chocolate and cream.

Indoor Shopping In Rome

For a bit of cheering up, one of the things you can do in Rome when it rains is certainly a bit of shopping, not around the streets, but indoors!  Here are some alternative ideas for indoor shopping in Rome:

Alberto Sordi Gallery;

Testaccio Market (Via Aldo Manuzio, 66b)

La Nuova Rinascente (Via del Tritone)

Explore Rome’s Secret Libraries

When it's raining in Rome, one way to escape the rain could be to enter in a library, perhaps less crowded than churches but no less significant, and take in the history and smell of old books.

Food in Rome in March

During the month of March the first fruits and vegetables of spring appear.  Many restaurants add seasonal dishes to their menus, so try pastas with peas and asparagus.  If you find yourself craving something hearty on a colder afternoon after a long morning of walking, order the traditional Roman dish of saltimbocca: slices of veal, sweet ham and sage, cooked in butter and wine to be enjoyed strictly hot as soon as it is made. 

Romans typically eat lunch at 1pm and dinner at 8pm or later.

On 19 March, Italians celebrate the popular feast of St. Joseph with parades, lights and, most important of all, the classic cream-filled puffs to sweetly celebrate fathers.  All month long, you can find the Bigné di San Giuseppe in pastry shops, bars and cafés throughout the city.  The light dough, filled with homemade custard, fried or baked in the oven are delicious any time of day!

Excursions out of Rome

Easy to reach points of interest are Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este in Tivoli.  Villa Adriana is the largest villa built by an emperor.  It is too hot in the summer, so take advantage of the March climate to wander the grounds.  A one hour train ride from Rome, Villa d'Este is famous for its park with many fountains and water features.  

If a visit to Pompeii is on your bucket list, March is a great time to go for a day trip from Rome.   Pompeii is the site of a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. that covered the two cities below with a thick layer of ash. Herculaneum was discovered in 1738 and Pompeii in 1748. During the first excavations, cavities containing human remains were found.   Some research proved that most of the people died because of the temperature of the ash from the volcano.  It should be known that Vesuvius is still an active volcano, and its last eruption was in 1944.  

Museums in Rome in March

Reservations are required for the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, the Borghese Gallery and all other museums of Rome. 

Best things to do in Rome 

Museum Openings in March

From 1 March 2021, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the largest circular tomb of the ancient world, will be open again.  It is one of the most representative monuments of Roman civilization, an important point of passage between Republican and Imperial Rome.  The site has undergone painstaking renovations over the last several years and is sure to be popular attraction.

Chiostro del Bramante (Piazza Navona area).  One of Rome’s most beautiful museums presents: Banksy A Visual Protest.  Over 90 works tell the story of Banksy's world.  See the works of the unknown artist Banksy, who conquered the world with irony and sharpness, in the monastery built by the Italian architect Bramante in the sixteenth century.  Closed Saturdays and Sundays.

Saint Peter's opening hours in March

For St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, we've compiled detailed information in our articles on the St. Peter's Basilica entrance, the dome, and how to visit the Vatican Museums.

In March there are often queues at St. Peter's Basilica.

St. Peter's Basilica is closed during the celebrations of the Holy Father.  Opening hours are:

Basilica 7a.m. - 6:30p.m.

Dome 8 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Treasury 9a.m. - 6:15p.m.

The Vatican Museums Opening Hours in March

Closed on Sundays and on 19 March.

Opening hours 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

Ph: Di Gregorio Giulio / Shutterstock.com