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Italy in early March?

Hello
Trying to plan my first trip to Italy before my first baby arrives. Early March is about as late as we can push it for international travel. I will be third trimester and probably not as energetic as I might normally be on a trip like this, but I feel like it's still worth going. My family is Italian, and it has LONG been my #1 place to go, so i feel like it want to do it now BEFORE children are in my life. Im looking for any suggestions of where might be best to go to balance sight-seeing with relaxing, at a time of year that i know the weather can be temperamental. I hate crowds and overly touristy things anyway! I live in NYC and get my fill of hustle and bustle. My goals are really just to be a beautiful place with warm people, take in true authentic Italy, and eat some amazing food. All suggestions are appreciated.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for the great questions. My family is from Bari and Calabria. But I do not necessarily need to go to either, though Puglia is tempting. I think we'd go for about a week or so. I think at most 1 or two destinations would be the most I would want to do. Considering I've never been to Italy at all, I was wondering if I should do Florence and Venice.... or Rome. But overall, I like to stay put in one spot for at least a couple days at time when I travel.

Mild weather would be nice, but don't need it to be really warm necessarily. I don't mind wearing a light jacket all day. I guess Im just hoping for sunshine.

Posted by
244 posts

Other than the far north (mountains) I don't think the weather will make that much difference. I've had rain in March as far south as the Amalfi Coast so there's not going to be any guarantees of nice weather. I've had some gorgeous sunny days in March and some horrid rainy ones. Because the weather is temperamental as you said, I would choose somewhere that there will be 'inside' things to do if you do get bad days. So at least a medium sized city. While one trip to the Amalfi Coast in March I had a couple of splendid days, I then got several very cold rainy days and there is NOTHING to do there at that time of year in poor weather.

I think Florence and Venice would be a good bet (since you seem to be implying that Rome would be too busy). They are so classic 'Italy', with plenty to do if you do get bad weather, but still beautiful. You could plan day trips to smaller towns if you think you have time and get good weather.

Here's a trip report I did of a trip that included Venice and Florence in March a couple years ago - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/italy-through-fresh-eyes---chashing-the-sun-in-italy-in-march

Here's my photos of Italy - maybe someplace else will look like what you are looking for - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f739967755

Posted by
12241 posts

Since Venice is my second favorite city (after Paris), I always recommend seeing it. If you can fly into Venice, it's the best place to get over jetlag while you soak up the atmosphere, wandering the back canals, riding the vaporetto on the Grand Canal, or having a coffee or gelato (yes, in winter) and watching the passersby.

If you aren't all that interested in Renaissance art and architecture, I give you permission to skip Florence. I think Florence tends to have crowds all the time, but maybe not in March. It does get lots of students in February during spring break.

I like Bologna, which doesn't get lots of tourists and has a great reputation for food. It's easy to take day trips to other charming towns by train. Verona's another good place for a relaxing time, with enough interesting sights to fill a couple of days.

I don't think there's much difference between middle to late February and early March as far as weather and crowds.

Posted by
1591 posts

Erin, I'm going with Rome and--since you'll be in your 3rd trimester--Rome only. Isabel is absolutely correct in that if you're on the Amalfi Coast and bad weather hits you, you have to go off the A.C. to find something to do. In Rome it really doesn't matter what the weather is--bring an umbrella and do your thing.

We did Rome last year late Feb/early March, and caught a good week weather-wise, 50's/60's during the day, 40's at night. Occasional sprinkles of rain. Simply sublime, and with few tourists about we just melded into the local scene. Get yourself a nice centrally-located hotel--and not on a high floor, you can request that--and make it your base. We rented an apartment but I'd let others do as much as possible for you, thus secure a nice hotel or even a good B&B and you should be able to find that in early March no problem.

And from a breadth of different kinds of Italian cuisine, you can't beat Rome. In addition to strictly Roman dishes like the famed spaghetti alla carbonara, we dined at a Sicilian joint that rivaled anything I have had in Sicily, and also loved a trattoria that featured the dishes of Puglia.

Walk to attractions or get a bus/Metro pass & ride. From the great hub that is Roma Termini station, take a daytrip to Orvieto, or to Florence (although Chani is correct in that especially on weekends that time of year it can be crowded with students and their parents), maybe to Naples for pizza but you could stay right in Rome for a week (heck, a month!) and still not scratch the surface of what's there.

Enjoy your planning!

Posted by
1627 posts

If you like Renaissance art and churches, it's much easier to get around Florence than it is the bigger, more spread out city of Rome. It's been 10 years since we went, but even going in summer it wasn't so crowded that it interfered with my enjoyment of my favorite city.

Posted by
3 posts

My Dr just OK-d going as late as early or mid April! So I'm just wondering if that changes anyone's recommendation? And thank you so much for all the wonderful feedback

Posted by
12241 posts

Consider how much stamina and energy you'll have and how comfortable you will be on the long flights, and little things like leg-swelling and frequent toilet stops. All those things would make me want to go earlier than later. I've been to Italy several times in February and though I did get snow once in Rome, it wasn't terribly cold and the snow-covered city was glorious in the sunshine. I've also had sunny days when it was pleasant to sit in the sun and eat gelato.