If you’re on the hunt for a comprehensive collection of holidays, events, and festivals in March in Italy, you’ve arrived at the perfect place.
Drawing from my rich Italian lineage, I’ve meticulously curated a list of March festivities, embodying the vitality and zest characteristic of our beloved traditions.
Let’s dive into the varied spectrum of March events, holidays, and festivals in Italy, where the vibrant celebration of spring echoes throughout the month, illustrating a vibrant part of the 2024 Italian calendar year.
March Events and Festivals in Italy: A Month of Blossoming Celebrations
Delve deeper as we spotlight Italy’s premier and notable events and festivals this March.
Alternatively, navigate our day-by-day March calendar for a comprehensive overview of all the March happenings.
March 8: Festa della Donna (International Women’s Day)
Across the streets of Italy, a lovely tradition unfolds every year on March 8: the exchange of yellow mimosa flowers. This gesture is a symbol of appreciation and a vibrant emblem of women uplifting each other.
On this day, Italy warmly embraces Festa della Donna (International Women’s Day). This globally recognized day puts the spotlight on women’s incredible strides and achievements.
Festa della Donna, which echoes with unity and appreciation, traces back to protests in New York City in 1909, where women stood against unfavorable working conditions.
In Italy, the celebration became distinctive after World War II when Rita Montagna and Teresa Mattei initiated the tradition of gifting mimosa flowers to women, symbolizing unity and respect. This gesture blossomed, establishing the day as a vibrant occasion to honor female resilience and achievements.
Free Access to Cultural Sites in Italy
Last year, a wonderful initiative was undertaken to further enhance the celebration: women were allowed free entry to various cultural sites like museums, historic gardens, and other fascinating landmarks. This generous gesture is anticipated to continue in 2024, allowing for a day of enriched cultural exploration.
On this day, cities become hubs of inspiration, housing various exhibitions and activities that underscore the essence of Festa della Donna. From art showcases to engrossing guided tours, the day promises a spectrum of experiences, celebrating women’s multifaceted talents and contributions.
March 9-17: Mandorlo in Fiore (Agrigento, Sicily)
Have you ever experienced the magic of early spring in Sicily? Well, I have, and I’m here to tell you about the radiant Mandorlo in Fiore (Almond Blossom Festival), the event that heralds the beautiful blossoming season in Agrigento, taking place from March 9 to 17, 2024.
Imagine stepping into the picturesque Valley of the Temples, one of Sicily UNESCO World Heritage sites, just as the almond blossoms come to life. It’s a sight to behold and an event steeped in friendship and camaraderie.
In my previous visit, the festival’s highlights have always been the lighting of the Tripod of Friendship in front of the iconic Concordia Temple and the vibrant parade of folk groups joyously marching with traditional Sicilian carts up to the Valley of the Temples.
Mark your calendars because this heartfelt celebration brings together tradition and the vibrant blooms of spring in a beautiful symbiosis.
March 19: Festa del Papà (Father’s Day)
In Italy, Father’s Day, also known as Festa del Papà, is joyfully celebrated on March 19, aligning with the observance of Saint Joseph’s Day.
Traditionally, the day is celebrated in the following delightful ways:
Family Gatherings and Feasts
Italian families seize the day to unite and indulge in a hearty meal, either concocted at home or savored at the father’s most-liked restaurant.
It’s a day filled with love, where family members shower their Italian dad with affection, presenting him with gifts for Italian dad, which could range from a cherished book to a fine bottle of wine.
Handmade Cards and Poetry
Adding a personal touch, young students craft special cards coupled with heartfelt poetry to shower their dads with love and appreciation
March 31: Pasqua (Easter Sunday)
Pasqua, or Easter Sunday, holds a prime spot in Italy’s cultural and religious calendar, with the next celebration set for March 31, 2024. Here’s a quick glimpse into what this significant March event entails in various regions of Italy:
Easter Mass at St. Peter’s Square
In Vatican City, Pope Francis leads the nation in a spiritually enriching Easter Mass at St. Peter’s Square, highlighted by the much-anticipated Urbi et Orbi message and blessings.
Local Parades and Processions
Italy is a canvas of diverse local customs and processions during this time. Some noteworthy ones, which usually unfold throughout the Easter weekend, from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, include:
- Gubbio, Umbria: Engage in the serene procession featuring hand-crafted wooden sculptures and age-old folk songs.
- Enna, Sicily: Witness the confraternity members carrying palm branches, accompanied by religious chants and prayers.
- Sorrento: A solemn atmosphere envelops the streets with hooded figures participating in historic religious processions.
- Orte, Lazio: Experience one of the oldest Easter traditions with a night-time procession in the streets of Orte.
Scoppio del Carro in Florence
Florence marks the day with the historical “Explosion of the Cart” event, where a pyrotechnical tower (Brindellone) journeys through the historic streets on a cart, flanked by individuals donned in 15th-century attire, soldiers and musicians. The day culminates in a grand fireworks display ignited by a dove-shaped rocket.
Across Italy, families gather to savor traditional Easter foods, encompassing dishes like lamb, artichokes, and regional Easter breads. Sweet treats like “Colomba”, chocolates, and painted eggs make a customary appearance, signifying the end of Lent.
March Calendar: Italy’s Holidays, Anniversaries, Events, and Special Days
- Death of Gabriele D’Annunzio, the literary maestro (1938). A polarizing figure with an artistic touch in literature.
- Passing of Luigi Vanvitelli, the master architect (1773). He played a vital role in the architectural landscape of the 18th-century Italy.
- Birth anniversary of Saint Benedict of Norcia, the guiding light (480). His principles continue to influence Christian monasticism.
- Onset of the Siege of Rome, a clash of titans (537). This marked a significant confrontation in the Gothic War.
- Celebrating the Birth of Antonio Vivaldi, the virtuoso of the violin (1678). His compositions resonate with the baroque era’s brilliance.
- Remembering the Death of Correggio, the Renaissance painter (1534). His works are a visual symphony of the Renaissance period.
- Celebrating Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s Birth, the grandiose artist (1696). His frescoes adorn many historic buildings in Italy.
- Michelangelo’s Birthday, a maestro of marble (1475). His sculptures echo the pinnacle of Renaissance artistry.
- Honoring Francesco Guicciardini, the chronicler of Italy (1483). His narratives are a vibrant chronicle of Italy’s past.
- Commemorating Saint Thomas Aquinas, the theological luminary (1274). His philosophical insights continue to guide theological studies.
- Festa della Donna (International Women’s Day), a global salute to womanhood. A day dedicated to honoring the spirit and contributions of women worldwide.
- Mandorlo in Fiore (Almond Blossom Festival): Held in Agrigento, Sicily, this vibrant March event in Italy heralds the arrival of spring with traditional parades and blooming almond trees.
- Anniversary of Inter Milan’s establishment, a divide that shaped football (1908). This marked a significant moment in the history of Italian football.
- Celebrating the Birth of Amerigo Vespucci, the man behind America’s name (1454). His voyages opened up new horizons in the age of discovery.
- Meatball Day (Celebrated in the US): A day to savor the rich flavors of Italian meatballs, a staple in American-Italian cuisine.
- Remembrance of Giuseppe Mazzini, the heartbeat of Italian unification (1872). His activism was a beacon in the Risorgimento movement.
- Hug Your Dog Day (Celebrated in the US): A time to cherish the happiness and affection our furry companions, especially Italian dog breeds, bring, echoing the deep affection Italians hold for their cherished “cagnolini”.
- Remembering Donato Bramante, the pioneer of High Renaissance architecture (1514). His works continue to inspire architectural studies.
- Celebrating the Birth of Torquato Tasso, the poetic genius (1544). His epics are a vibrant exploration of chivalry and romance.
- Napping Day (Celebrated in the US): Relax and rejuvenate with a “pisolino”, embodying the Italian culture’s appreciation for a well-timed afternoon rest.
- Honoring the birth of Gabriele D’Annunzio, the versatile virtuoso (1863). His works span literature, politics, and the arts.
- Birth of Gianni Agnelli (1921), the influential leader who spearheaded the rise of the Italian automotive industry, prominently elevating Italian car brands to global acclaim.
- Celebrating the Birth of Vittorio Emanuele II (1820), the founding father of unified Italy. His reign marked the beginning of a new era in Italian history.
- Commemorating the Birth of Umberto I (1844), a sovereign of significance. He led the country through periods of significant change and development.
- Ides of March, the fall of Julius Caesar (44 B.C.). This day marks the dramatic assassination that changed the course of Roman history.
- Celebrating the birth of Bernardo Bertolucci (1940), a visionary filmmaker. His films depict the complex layers of human emotions.
- Memorial of the kidnapping of Aldo Moro (1978), a political tragedy. This event marked a dark period in Italian post-war politics.
- Feast Day of San Patrizio (Saint Patrick’s Day), a beacon of Irish spirituality. This day, also celebrated in Italy, honors the patron saint of Ireland.
- Marking the passing of Marcus Aurelius (180), a philosopher king. His reign epitomized the golden era of the Roman Empire.
- Commemorating the rise of the Kingdom of Italy under Napoleon (1805), a seismic shift. This event marked a radical change in the Italian political landscape.
- Remembrance of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption (1944), nature’s fiery wrath.
- Festa del Papà (Father’s Day in Italy): Feast Day of San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph), a celebration of fatherhood in Italy.
- International Day of Happiness: Celebrate the joys of life, reflecting the Italian spirit of “la dolce vita“, the sweet life.
- Celebrating the Birth of Ovid (43 B.C.), a poet of love and metamorphoses. His poetic narratives continue to inspire and enthrall readers.
- Commemorating the passing of Saint Benedict of Norcia (547), a spiritual guide. His teachings continue to be a beacon of spiritual guidance.
- Cosmoprof Exhibition in Bologna, a grand stage showcasing the pinnacle of beauty and cosmetic innovations, blending Italian flair with global trends
- World Water Day: A day promoting responsible water use, reflecting Italy’s tradition of managing water elegantly through its renowned Italian fountains and historic aqueducts.
- Palm Sunday: Commemorate this holy day with reflections of the peaceful processions held in various Italian regions, marking the beginning of Holy Week.
- Celebrating the Birth of Dario Fo (1926), a literary powerhouse. His works are a vibrant tapestry of satire and political commentary.
- Memorial of the Fosse Ardeatine Massacre in Rome (1944), a somber reminder. A day to remember the innocent lives lost during World War II.
- Venice Foundation Day (421), the birth of a maritime republic. The city emerged as a powerful entity from the Rivus Altus, known today as the Rialto.
- Feast of the Annunciation, a heavenly celebration. This feast commemorates the announcement of the birth of Jesus to Mary.
- Celebrating the birth of Saint Catherine of Siena (1347), Italy’s protective saint. She is venerated as a patron saint of Italy, alongside Saint Francis of Assisi.
- Consecration of the Duomo of Florence (1436), marking the sanctification of the iconic Santa Maria del Fiore.
- Celebrating the Birth of Arturo Toscanini (1867), a music maestro. His contributions to the musical world are monumental.
- International Waffle Day: Celebrate the diversity of this delightful dish, perhaps with an Italian twist by enjoying some pizzelle, the traditional Italian version of waffles.
- Commemoration of the first Mille Miglia race (1927), a motor milestone. This event began an iconic car race between Brescia, Ferrara, and Rome.
- National Spinach Day (Celebrated in the US): A day to appreciate the versatility of spinach, a prominent ingredient in classic Italian dishes like Cannelloni.
- Remembering Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1770), an artist of grandeur. His contributions to the art world are timeless.
- World Theatre Day: Immerse yourself in the rich tradition of Italian theatre, home to grandiose operas and the birthplace of Commedia dell’arte.
- Good Friday: A solemn day of reflection and prayers observed globally, marked in Italy by various heartfelt processions and traditions.
- Memorial of the establishment of Europe’s first Jewish ghetto in Venice (1516). This day marks a significant, though dark, milestone in European history.
- Holy Saturday: Anticipate Easter Sunday with the quiet reverence and spiritual observances seen in Italian communities, reflecting on traditions and awaiting the joyous celebrations of the next day.
- Easter Sunday: Celebrate the resurrection with joyous gatherings and feasts, akin to Italy’s vibrant and festive Easter traditions that bring families together over a table of culinary delights.
While we diligently verify event dates, confirming with local organizers before planning your visit is always best.
Before You Go…
Planning your Italian adventure this March? Ensure a hassle-free trip by consulting our comprehensive guide on Weather in Italy in March: Your Essential Travel Guide, merging climate predictions with indispensable travel tips. Your perfect March journey starts here!