March is a pleasant month to visit Florence because the summer crowds haven't yet arrived and the weather hasn't heated up. The weather in Florence in March can range from cold and rainy to cool and sunny, so be sure to pack plenty of layers. While the Florence calendar of events is not jam-packed in March, there are still some fun activities and festivals to take in.
Carnevale (and beginning of Lent)
When Easter falls in April, Carnevale is in full swing in March. While Carnevale is not as big in Florence as it is in Venice or nearby Viareggio, Florence puts on a fun parade for the occasion. The procession starts at Piazza Ognissanti and ends in Piazza Della Signoria, where there is a costume contest and madrigals concert. Learn more about upcoming dates for Carnevale and how Carnevale is celebrated in Italy.
Holy Week, Easter, and the Scoppio del Carro
As in the rest of Italy, Holy Week and Easter in Florence are commemorated with grand masses and other celebrations steeped in tradition. One of Florence's biggest festivals is the Scoppio del Carro (literally "Explosion of the Cart") an event that dates back to medieval times. The Scoppio del Carro takes place following mass on Easter Sunday in front of the Duomo. Read more about the Scoppio del Carro and other Easter Traditions in Italy.
Festa della Donna
March 8 is International Women's Day worldwide, or Festa della Donna in Italy. Men bring the women in their lives bunches of fragrant yellow mimosa flowers, and groups of women usually go out to dinner together. If you're in Florence on this day and you have a particular restaurant in mind, it's a good idea to make a reservation in advance. Museums and sites sometimes offer free or reduced-price admission to women on March 8.
Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, is celebrated in Florence with a festival, Irlanda in Festa, which features traditional and modern Irish music. There's a surprisingly high number of Irish pubs in Florence's centro storico, so you should have no problem finding someplace to celebrate with a pint of Guinness. See our guide to Saint Patrick's Day in Italy for more details.
Usually held at in mid-March, Fuori di Taste is a 3-day food festival that showcases fine food and wine, as well as culinary innovations. It's part trade show and part public event, so be sure to check the website for the hours that it's open to the general public. In 2019, the event takes place at Stazione Leopolda, just outside the city center.
Festa di San Giuseppe
March 19, the Feast Day of Saint Joseph (the father of Jesus) is also known as Father's Day in Italy. Traditions on this day include children giving gifts to their fathers and the eating zeppole (a cream-filled fried pastry, similar to a doughnut).
Florentine New Year, aka Feast of the Annunciation
The official arrival of spring is celebrated in Florence on March 25 with the Feast of the Annunciation, which includes a parade from the Palazzo Vecchio to Piazza SS Annunziata. Revelers gather in Piazza SS Annunziata for food, drink, and music and it is custom to pay a visit to the church of Santissima Annunziata to see its richly decorated interior, which includes frescoes and mosaics of the Annunciation.