10 things to do in Rome in March

This month the Eternal City welcomes the colorful spring, celebrates the most famous Easter and starts with outdoor activities. Take note!

Nuria Rozas

Nuria Rozas

10 min read

10 things to do in Rome in March

Enjoying the Caer of the night in Rome | © Julius Silver

The end of winter and the beginning of spring in Rome is an ideal time to organize a trip to the Italian capital. The temperature is more moderate than in the harsher months of the winter season and the days are getting longer.

In addition, one of the most anticipated events of the year, Easter, begins in earnest and the calendar is full of outdoor activities, in which its gardens and terraces are the main protagonists. Take note of this guide with the 10 things you can do in March if you travel in this special month. Keep reading!

1. Experience the Roman Easter Week

Enjoying Easter| ©OPUS DEI
Enjoying Easter| ©OPUS DEI

Whether you are a spiritual person or not, one of the most impressive events in the Eternal City is Holy Week in Rome. In general, in countries with a Catholic culture it is celebrated with much devotion, but do you know how Holy Week is commemorated in the Italian capital? Read carefully.

If you are planning to travel to Rome during Holy Week and you are not sure when, consider the following suggestions:

  • Palm Sunday kicks off Holy Week and you will be able to attend a mass officiated by the Pope celebrating Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem and see the thousands of faithful gathered with their olive branches.
  • Holy Wednesday is also a day to keep in mind because you can book tickets for the Papal Audience.
  • Easter Sunday is another day worth experiencing in Rome at this time of the year. It is the great feast commemorating the resurrection of Christ, and you will be infected by the atmosphere of joy and jubilation in St. Peter's Square!

And on your trip to Rome during Holy Week, be sure to book the guided tour of the catacombs and basilicas of Rome, where you will visit the Basilica of St. Mary Major and the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, as well as the catacombs of St. Callixtus, in a unique atmosphere. You won't regret it!

Book tickets for the Papal Audience

2. Feel like an emperor at the death of Julius Caesar!

Statue of Julius Caesar in Rome| ©Santiago Abella
Statue of Julius Caesar in Rome| ©Santiago Abella

If you are passionate about history, you can't miss the March 15 tribute in Rome on the anniversary of the death of Emperor Julius Caesar, one of the most charismatic and idolized characters of Ancient Rome.

When booking your tickets to the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill, keep in mind that on this day several cultural events are held in the Roman Forum, next to the statue of Julius Caesar.

Undoubtedly, what surprised me most about this celebration was the reenactment of his death with wonderful actors, which took place in the actual place where he was killed: at the archaeological site of Largo di Torre Argentina, a busy square in the center of the Eternal City. It will make your hair stand on end! There, you will see the so-called Liberators in disguise, who were the ones who materialized the fateful plan. You will take a non-stop trip back in time!

Book your ticket to the Roman Forum

3. Take part in the Spring Festival!

Villa Borghese Gardens in March| ©Stefano Consolo
Villa Borghese Gardens in March| ©Stefano Consolo

One of my favorite pastimes in Rome was strolling through the gardens about to bloom, such as Villa Borghese, where I discovered the stunning sculptures of Villa Borghese. Also, you can get to know them in a very fun way if you book a Segway tour of Villa Borghese.

Another option if you want to experience spring in its purest form at the end of March is to go to the steps of Piazza di Spagna, where you will see a festival of colors. The Spring Festival covers with thousands of white, pink and violet azaleas the baroque stairs of the square, which are picturesque all year round, but in springtime in Rome they attract even more attention because of the combination of colors that decorate them. From there you can take some of the best snapshots of the Eternal City!

Book a Segway tour of Villa Borghese

4. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day like a true Irishman!

Paint the Roman Colosseum green on St. Patrick's Day| ©Federico
Paint the Roman Colosseum green on St. Patrick's Day| ©Federico

Every March 17, a green wave invades the Eternal City and Irish pubs are transformed to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the patron saint of Ireland. These places are filled with redheads who live in Rome and organize fun activities with beer (the famous pints), folklore and shamrocks in between. A tradition that has been adopted by other major cities around the world such as New York, Buenos Aires and Madrid. After all, any excuse is good to toast, right?

St. Patrick's Day also sneaks into the most emblematic monument of the city, the Colosseum in Rome, which is dyed emerald green thanks to a campaign of the Irish Department of Tourism, which every year fills with color the main facades of the planet, including the iconic amphitheater.

My recommendation, if you are in Italy at this time, is to book your ticket for the Colosseum in Rome and, of course, after your visit, look for an Irish pub in the capital to toast the saint. Remember to say "¡Sláinte!" to feel like a real Irishman, instead of the traditional "Cheers!".

Book your ticket for the Colosseum of Rome

5. Test yourself at the Rome Marathon

Participating in the Rome Marathon| ©Greg Johnson
Participating in the Rome Marathon| ©Greg Johnson

If one of your new year's resolutions is to lose calories and you want to do it in a unique place, I recommend the marathon held annually in the Eternal City. The start of the race is marked in front of the Colosseum, one of Rome' s most famous monuments that has been standing for 2,000 years. Is there a better way to get in shape?

From here, you'll run past fabulous postcard images such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps and many other bohemian and picturesque alleyways of the city's historic center. You won't want to go back to the gym.

The lighter version of the marathon

The popular Rome Marathon usually takes place on the third Sunday in March and participants run 42 kilometers through the Eternal City. In this event, you will meet participants from all over the world and, don't worry, if you are not too fit, because you can run a short 4-kilometer route designed for beginners. Another option to get in shape is to book a bike tour along the Appian Way.

Book a bike tour on the Appian Way

6. Celebrate women's day at the Festa della Donna!

Flor Mimosa, typical of Mother's Day bouquets| ©crabchick
Flor Mimosa, typical of Mother's Day bouquets| ©crabchick

Want to enjoy International Women's Day in a different way during your trip to the Italian capital? March 8 is celebrated in the vast majority of countries around the world, but in Italy it is characterized by a very special custom: giving a beautiful bouquet of mimosas to women.

Go to any flower shop or to the iconic market in Piazza del Campo dei Fiori and get yours. It's always a good time to treat yourself, and on vacation even more so.

The origin of this tradition dates back to 1946, at the end of World War II, when Teresa Noce, Rita Montagnana and Teresa Mattei handed out a bouquet of this flower, which symbolizes strength and the ability to be reborn anywhere, even in scorched lands.

Taste the flower-shaped sweets

Those with a sweet tooth can try the "mimosa" cake, which, by the way, is finger-licking good! Any holiday is a good time in the transalpine country to show off its heavy artillery: its exquisite sweets and its gastronomy! Almost all bakeries prepare yellow cakes for this day, reminiscent of the plant.

In addition, many stores offer discounts and restaurants prepare special menus for Women's Day. Even, some years, the entrance to museums has been free for women. So don't hesitate to book a gastronomic tour of Campo de Fiori and take advantage of it.

Book a gastronomic tour of Campo de Fiori

7. Take refuge in the museums for free on winter Sundays

Detail of Castel Sant'Angelo| ©Michele Bitetto
Detail of Castel Sant'Angelo| ©Michele Bitetto

If you're lucky enough to spend seven days in Rome or more, including a Sunday, a great plan to put yourself out of the cold is to visit the museums and marvel at the great works of Raphael, Rubens and Caravaggio. Doesn't sound bad, does it?

Important fact: during the first Sunday of the winter months access is completely free. However, you must keep in mind that in the most famous ones there are very long queues, in which you can spend hours. My advice is that, if you really want to go, buy in advance especially the tickets for the Colosseum and the tickets for the Castel Sant'Angelo.

On the other hand, the price of tickets to the Vatican Museums is also zero euros; that is, free (how we love that little word!) during the last Sunday of the month. I suggest you get up as early as possible to be among the first in line, which, believe me, you will appreciate. Take note of the tickets to the best museums you can visit in the Eternal City:

Book your ticket for the Museums of Rome

8. Attend the Feast of St. Francesca, patron saint of drivers

Basilica of Santa Francesca Romana where the cars are blessed.| ©ShareAlike 3.0
Basilica of Santa Francesca Romana where the cars are blessed.| ©ShareAlike 3.0

We know that, in the Italian capital, Vespa scooters enjoy a halo of divinity, proof of which is that Audrey Hepburn herself succumbed to these two charms and there you can book a Vespa tour in Rome. But what role do cars play in the Eternal City? We look at it in detail with this example.

There is a church in Rome where cars can be blessed on March 9. Although it may sound strange, even rental cars can participate and enjoy first hand this unique and different celebration.

Where? At the Basilica of Santa Francesca Romana, located very close to the Roman Forum. This church dresses up to bless a large number of vehicles that surround the church. At the end all the cars honk their horns in an improvised concert, one of the most curious plans I made in the capital!

Book a vespa tour in Rome

9. Send your dad a selfie from the Feast of San Giuseppe

Facade of the Basilica of San Giuseppe al Trionfale| ©Esteban Fernández García
Facade of the Basilica of San Giuseppe al Trionfale| ©Esteban Fernández García

If you travel to Rome this month you can enjoy one of the most popular events in the Eternal City: Father's Day. The figure of St. Joseph has always been highly venerated by the Roman people. Proof of this are the numerous churches built in his honor and the great diffusion of the name "Giuseppe" among the people. For this reason, March 19 has always been a very special date in the Italian capital.

You will see how the main streets around the Basilica of San Giuseppe al Trionfale, which celebrates a mass, are filled with excitement and you can taste the zeppole, the typical sweet of this anniversary, made with puff pastry and filled with tasty pastry cream.

Experience a procession presided over by St. Joseph

The day is traditionally commemorated with bonfires and sometimes with curious parades with scenes from the life of St. Joseph. Until the 1960s, a procession was organized with the statue of the saint carried on the shoulders of the faithful.

10. Have a good cup of coffee, symbol of the Eternal City

A coffee at Café Greco| ©Ami Zhang
A coffee at Café Greco| ©Ami Zhang

If I say that during your trip you will smell the aroma of Rome's best pizzas, wood-fired oven and freshly brewed coffee as you stroll through the streets, I'm not lying. Roman winter is synonymous with coffee in the Italian capital. You will have thousands of types of beans of this beverage, as many as personalities exist on the face of the earth: the sweet, the bitter, the funny, the cut... I leave you a list of my favorite coffee shops:

  • Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè (Piazza Sant'Eustachio, 82): a cozy place from 1938 that preserves the original decor and charm - a temple for caffeine junkies!
  • Café Greco (Via Condotti, 86): considered the oldest coffee shop in the Eternal City. It is a classic for lovers of this drink.

Temperatures in March in the Eternal City

Rainy days in Rome| ©FRANCO600D
Rainy days in Rome| ©FRANCO600D

Before embarking on a flight, one of our biggest concerns is almost always the temperature. Therefore, I recommend that a few days before, you take a look at the weather forecast. In general, these are between 8°C and 15°C degrees for the month of March.

Be sure to bring a good coat and an umbrella, as it is quite likely that you will be rained on some days. Daylight hours in March last almost 12 hours, giving you time to explore every secret corner of the Eternal City. Sunrise is at 06:22 am and sunset is at 6:17 pm.

The influx of tourists and prices in March in Rome

Visiting the Vatican City| ©Kai Pilger
Visiting the Vatican City| ©Kai Pilger

March is still considered low season and the city, fortunately, is not crowded with tourists as at other times of the year, so you can tour the city comfortably without having to waste time waiting in long lines to get into attractions.

The exception that proves the rule is Holy Week, a celebration that attracts thousands of religious visitors from all over the world and that makes prices in the Eternal City (mainly flights and hotels) go up quite a lot. My advice is to buy your tickets as far in advance as possible. Take pen and paper and write down some of the keys to organize your trip to Rome.

Book the City Sightseeing tourist bus