March Travel: Rome
A Big City Getaway
If you have ever been looking for a big city to vacation during March. Then you know if can be like jumping through a mine field of just-melting slush puddles. Let’s not even talk about the overly crowded spring break getaways. To avoid this craziness and see some of the most beautiful parts of spring, head over to Rome. March in Rome is the time of blooming flowers, fresh crops that go into traditional Roman cooking, and – best of all – smaller tourist crowds!
What will you experience?
Your time in the Eternal City of Rome will be during one of the happiest parts of the year. Locals will be starting to relax into their sunlit summery routines following the giant celebration of Carnevale. The Italian style of celebrating Marti Gras. With lots and lots of confetti sprinkling the ground, and the chance of seeing a few late celebrators in costume, you are surrounded by life. Almost every plant that produces flowers will be in full bloom. Streets will be lined with beautiful purple and white flowered magnolia trees that put a fresh spring scent in the air.
Along with the ending of Carnevale, traveling women will be delighted by International Women’s Day which is celebrated on March 8th every year. The Italian traditional of celebrating women involves many respectful complements from complete strangers, wishing women “aguri” which roughly translates to “best wishes”, and the gift of mimosa flowers from loved ones and strangers alike.
The weather will be great!
One great perk of visiting Rome during the spring is the weather. Year round, Rome has a mild to hot climate. Often reaching scorching temperatures in the middle of the summer – one of the most popular times for visitors. With average temperature highs in the mid 60s-70s and lots of sunny days in March, you’ll feel like you’re on a beach vacation with the perks of being in a bustling, historic, and beautiful city.
Make sure to take plenty of time wandering the flower lined streets. Stop in great outdoor and indoor markets which will have anything from clothes to fresh food. Campo di’ Fiori and Esquiline Market are two which are open almost every day, and always have a great variety of good food. Campo di’ Fiori is an especially great place to stop for souvenirs in the form of authentic foods and drinks!
When in Italy, eat lots of Italian food
Speaking of food, spring in Rome is a perfect time to sample some of the freshest traditional dishes. Squash flowers, or “fiori di zucca”, and artichoke, or “carcofi”, are two ingredients that are needed for some of Rome’s most popular food traditions:
Carcofi alla romana and Pizza with fiori di zucca. The first is an artichoke dish made by stuffing the artichoke with bread crumbs, mint, parsley, and garlic. Then slowly cooking them in olive oil and water. By mow your mouth watering, then the smell definitely will!
Fiori di Zucca pizza is another must-have authentic dish to try when in Rome. Zucchini flower and anchovies (usually places can remove the anchovies if desired) are added to a simple mozzarella base pizza. The mild yet satisfying pizza is a perfect lunch or dinner option you’ll find at almost every pizzeria. Its perfect for days spent wandering Roman streets. As an appetizer, ask the pizzeria for a suppli – a stuffed & fried rice ball similar to arancini, but without the meat and size of an arancini ball.
Fresh artichokes, just waiting to be cooked. No attribution
Always Finish with Dessert
After your satisfying traditional meals, you can partake in another Roman custom of munching on some fresh fruit for dessert. In Rome, fruit is rarely served when it’s not in season. So you won’t see grocery stores stocked full of all sorts of fruit at all times of the year.
Instead, you’ll see fruit stands dotted throughout the city in small shops or even kiosk stalls on the streets, where locals flock for in-season and deliciously fresh fruit. In the spring, you’ll have a wonderful sampling of strawberries, cherries, kiwis, mandarin oranges, apples, pomegranates, and lemons.
Seeing the Sights
Beyond the incredibly fresh and delicious food, March is the perfect month to visit Rome and see tourist sights without the same crowds. Imagine, visiting the Vatican Museum or the Colosseum and not having to spend multiple hours in line! You’ll still have to book tickets in advance for places like the Borghese Gallery. An art gallery perched on Pincian hill with a stunning collection including works by Caravaggio and Raphael. But claiming one of the few daily tours offered at the Gallery will be much easier than trying to book during the summer months.
Outside the Borghese Gallery. No attribution
Easy to book tours, shorter lines, and some delectable food will keep your mind and belly full of happiness on your March vacation in Italy. With endless things to do in Rome, you’ll be able to explore the Italian city for days or weeks without any shortage of things to do or eat! Take advantage of the lesser crowds, blooming flowers, and – I just can’t say it enough – the amazing fresh Italian food of the truly magnificent city.
I hope you have been enjoying my series on great March Travel destinations but if you want to continue the journey follow the links below.
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