Coming to Florence in March?
Plan for it to be a little chilly and rainy.
After all, 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 about coming to visit Florence this time of year:
I've lived in Italy 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 (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 Florence 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 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 school groups all around Florence.
And then I know.
The arrival of spring and pleasant weather is coming, 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.
Similar to what happens when it rains in Rome, you can usually go out in the rain in Florence. You'll find you have more sites to yourself, and sometimes you can get stunning pix like puddle reflections or dramatic sunsets.
The weather in March is on the cooler side, especially at the start of the month with lows (at night) averaging 40-44 Fahrenheit/4-6 Celsius, and highs of about 54-58 Fahrenheit/12-14 Celsius.
Towards the end of the month spring is in the air, with the average temperature reaching highs of 16-18 Celsius/60-64 Fahrenheit during the day.
When packing for Florence 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!
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.
I always recommend bringing a rain-hat, which is small and light and easy to pop in your bag.
I would also suggest bringing a quality travel umbrella along with a waterproof jacket or coat.
These are my personal recommendations for packing for Florence in March:
The weather in Florence in March can be very iffy at times, with rain showers, and sometimes even hail appearing out of nowhere!
A rain hat like this quilted one is ideal as it is small and warm, yet so lightweight you can easily pop it in your bag and have it ready in case of an unexpected rain shower.
This waterproof rain hat is similar to the one Alessandro wears when walking around Florence. When it's raining, 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 pictures.
I've washed them more than once, and they still look brand new.
A scarf should be on your packing list whenever you visit Florence.
In winter and early spring, I find that a large pashmina such as this one is a better option compared to a regular scarf, as it can be used in multiple ways.
I prefer to go for a scarf with a blend of cashmere and silk because it's not too hot, and also doesn't make me itch.
The best jacket you can wear when sight-seeing in Florence in March is a waterproof hiking jacket, with removable lining, unless you have an event or fancy dinner.
I have several of these jackets which are mainly worn when I go hiking, but I also wear them during the winter and early spring when it can be colder than you might expect!
This is a men's version of the same type of jacket: waterproof, sporty, and with removable lining. It's actually 3 jackets in one so this is perfect for including in your March packing for Florence!
I will always bring a good travel umbrella with me wherever I travel. I can highly recommend including one in your packing for Florence - you can always buy one here if you forget, but the quality likely won't be as good.
I love mine, that has features like wind-resistant ribs, and a cool open AND close button.
A warm cardigan, pullover, or turtleneck is a good idea as well.
Even when you take off your jacket, you will still stay warm and cozy.
When packing for Florence in March, don't forget to include the following items in your packing list:
What else do you need to consider when packing for Florence in March?
These are a few of my essential packing recommendations, any time of year:
Disclosure : If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!
Yes it can be rainy in Florence occasionally, but the sun will be shining more often than not so you'll want a good pair of sunglasses.
Any medications you take, along with a list of these medications.
I would recommend keeping these with you in your carry-on in a dedicated container, rather than packing them in your checked luggage.
Photocopies or clear photographs saved on your phone of your passport - much safer than carrying your actual passport around Florence!
Plug converters for your dual-voltage appliances.
Voltage in Italy is 220, and in the US and some other countries, it's 110. Most electronic devices will default to dual voltage, but you will need a plug adapter as the plug shapes are different here.
This universal adapter covers you in multiple locations, perfect for travel to different parts of the world.
Carrying a well-stocked first-aid kit gives you peace of mind when traveling.
I always like having one with me when I travel, it’s very handy for when you need something quickly.
Travel insurance isn't something to pack but it is something you should not forget!
It is not uncommon these days for visitors to have to deal with lost luggage or cancelled or delayed flights, and your credit card coverage may not be as extensive as you think - chances are you are not covered for what you need when these things happen!
So how should you dress when you visit Florence in March?
You will probably be walking a lot, so you need comfortable shoes.
My number one rule for sightseeing in Florence, at any time of year: be comfortable.
This is most important when it comes to your shoes. It is crucial to wear good walking shoes, and good quality socks.
I would recommend only bringing shoes you have already broken in, and don’t worry about looking like a tourist - that’s exactly what you are!
The next rule, which is very appropriate for March is: dress in layers.
Since the weather in Florence can vary a good deal from day to day, as well as from day to night, it's essential to wear breathable layers that you can remove/put on easily such as light cotton t-shirts, cardigans/pullovers/jumpers and waterproof jackets.
I would also recommend wearing a backpack as you travel around the city center, so you can have a place to put your layers if you take them off, along with your umbrella or rain hat ready in case it rains.
Bottom line, when packing for Florence in March, don't forget to:
If you are planning to go to an event, for example a wedding, opera or dinner at a special restaurant, then you may wish to bring something elegant to wear.
Otherwise, it is fine to wear more casual clothes to eat out at many restaurants in Florence so you do not need to pack much, if any, evening-wear.
I know I'm biased and think every month is a great time to come to Florence, but March is definitely a good choice!
The first half of March will still be winter-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 Florence.
If you want to visit Florence 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.
This does not mean it's a bad time to come to Florence!
It is still artichoke season (globe artichokes), but you will also still see plenty of winter greens too: 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 Italian green.
Try it with pasta, in omelettes or quiche, or simply sautéed and served as an accompaniment to Florentine steak!
Special dates in March include International Women's Day, the Feast of the Annunciation, Father's Day and more.
International Women's Day or Festa della Donna on March 8th is 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 yellow mimosa flowers to the women in your life.
In early March, you will see a lot of these yellow flowers for sale in Florence.
On this day, Florence's civic and state museums are free for women.
Saint Patrick's Day is not a huge celebration in Florence, but you will find plenty of bars and Irish pubs in the city center getting in on the Irish spirit!
In Italian it's called La Festa di San Giuseppe.
Giuseppe is Italian for Joseph and of course the day celebrating fathers here is named for the one of the most famous fathers, at least in Catholic history.
Why is this important if you're visiting Florence?
Because you will want to load up on some fritelle, sweet fried dough balls made only at this time of year!
Traditionally the New Year in Florence was celebrated on the Catholic Feast of the Annunciation, March 25.
Florentines would come together in the Piazza Santissima Annunizata to commemorate the beginning of spring, as well as the date the angel Gabriel told Mary about her divine pregnancy (exactly 9 months before Christmas).
When the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1541, the Florentine people refused to change their New Year celebrations to January 1 and continued to celebrate as they had always done.
It wasn't until the 1700's that Florence finally got on the same calendar as the rest of Europe, but the remembrance of the March date lived on, and today the city officially marks the 'New Year' every year on March 25.
Nowadays you will find the Piazza Santissima Annunizata full of stalls around March 25, selling all sorts of items.
You can also attend a special morning mass in the church on the piazza - be aware that this is very popular with the locals so plan ahead!
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.
In 2023, we set our clocks ahead on the night of Saturday March 25 at 2:00 AM (March 26.)
Be aware of this if you have any Sunday morning plans like a tour or flight.
The cooler winter months are a great time to take in the arts indoors. Some of the city's museums stay open later on the weekends.
There are several Florence events in March 2023 at various locations around the city:
The Museo degli Innocenti (right next to the Galleria Academia) is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the works of brilliant Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher.
Entrance is included in the regular museum tickets, which can be booked online.
See more information and book your tickets here.
Open from October 20, 2022 to May 7, 2023.
Two impressive works by contemporary English sculptor Henry Moore will be on display at two locations in Florence until March 31, 2023.
Organized by the Museo Novecento, one sculpture will be in Piazza della Signoria and the other in front of the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte (further up the hill from Piazzale Michelangelo).
No entrance ticket required.
Read more about this special collaboration here.
Museum of Palazzo Vecchio
Giacometti - Fontana. The Quest for the Absolute.
Curated by Chiara Gatti and Sergio Risaliti, this exhibition brings together for the first time two pillars of 20th century art.
March 2, 2023 to June 4, 2023
For opening hours and ticket information, click here.
Palazzo Medici Riccardi
Luca Giordano. Maestro barocco a Firenze
The Neapolitan painter Luca Giordano was extremely popular in Florence, with important commissions from the Medici family.
Follow the story of his involvement with Florence and the powerful people of his time in this major exhibition.
March 30, 2023 to September 5, 2023
Click here to book your tickets and find out more.
There are lots of concerts and other events available to book for your trip to Florence in March - take a look at some of our suggestions here:
Enjoy operatic pieces from famous Italian composers live in concert in the evocative surroundings of the Santa Monaca church.
Concerts take place every evening, booking highly recommended.
See the Three Tenors live in concert at the Santo Stefano al Ponte church.
You will be treated some of the best-known arias from the operas of Puccini, Verdi and Rossini, as well as Neapolitan songs.
Takes place twice a week - why not book your tickets to include a special 3-course Tuscan meal for an extra special evening!
Enjoy a variety of concerts and events in Florence's oldest theater, Teatro Niccolini.
Teatro Verdi hosts many contemporary shows and concerts almost every day of the week.
On the first Sunday of each month you can access Florence's state museums, archeological parks and cultural sites for free - yes, completely free!
These free entrance events are very popular, so plan to arrive early to be sure you get in.
Maybe it's your 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) time in Florence.
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 Florence!
While you can of course look at a day trip to the Tuscan countryside, Rome or even Venice, here are some ideas for your visit: