March weather in Milan may offer a mixed bag of cold, foggy, or rainy days, which can be followed by days of crisp, sunny skies. March is a great time to visit the city, rain or shine, as crowds are thinner and it's easier to get to Milan's main sights and museums. There's also a full calendar of religious festivals and events every March in Milan.
Carnevale and the Beginning of Lent
While Carnevale is not as big of a celebration in Milan as it is in Venice, Milan puts on a huge parade around the Duomo Square for the occasion. The parade typically takes place on the first Saturday of Lent (either February or March). The parade features floats, chariots, men and women in medieval dress, flag bearers, bands, and children in costume. Learn more about upcoming dates for Carnevale and how Carnevale is celebrated in Italy
Holy Week and Easter
As in the rest of Italy, Holy Week and Easter in Milan are commemorated with grand masses and other celebrations. The biggest mass of the Easter season takes place on Easter Sunday at Milan's Duomo (Italian for cathedral). Read more about other Easter Traditions in Italy.
St. Patrick's Day
Milan is home to a sizeable expatriate community and several proper Irish pubs, so it's no surprise that people find a way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Murphy's Law, Mulligans, and Pogues Mahone are all popular places to party on this day, and some may even serve green beer!
Festa di San Giuseppe
The Feast Day of Saint Joseph (the husband of the Virgin Mary) is also known as Father's Day in Italy. Traditions on this day include children giving gifts to their fathers and the consumption of zeppole (a fried, filled pastry, similar to a doughnut). While the Festa di San Giuseppe is not a national holiday, it used to be, and it remains a favorite yearly event.
Flea & Antiques Markets
Throughout most of the year, the long-standing Fiera di Sinigalia runs every Saturday at the Ripa di Porta Ticinese in the Navigli District, offering well-curated vintage clothes, housewares, and bric-a-brac.
Every Sunday morning, a stamp, coin, and printed goods market—one of the largest in Europe—runs on Via Armorari, not far from the Duomo.
Rotating Art Exhibitions
Thanks to the presence of several major art museums and exhibition spaces, there is almost always an important art exhibit happening in Milan in March. "Where Milan" offers a current list of art exhibits and other cultural events in the city.
Performances at La Scala
Milan's historic Teatro alla Scala, or La Scala, is one of the premier opera houses in Europe, and seeing a performance there is a treat any time of year. In March, there are periodic of opera and classical music, including some adapted for children.