What to wear in Rome in March: complete packing list to be comfortable, stylish and get the dress code right

by marta

Packing list for Rome in March: learn what to wear in Rome in March to be comfortable, stylish and get the dress code right.

An Italian saying goes ‘Marzo pazzerello, esce il sole, prendi l’ombrello’ which translates into: Crazy March, the sun comes you, take the umbrella!

The rhyme is cute but it is also accurate. When packing for Rome in March, the words to remember are: changeable weather!

Your bags for Rome in March should have a variety of things, rainging from short sleeve tops to sweaters, jackets and scarves.

If this sounds daunting, in terms of packing light, do not worry, we are here to help! 

In this packing list for Rome in March, i detail what you need and what you don’t, so you can minimize luggage size without compromising on comfort and style. 

Tourist woman in yellow top looking at map in front of Rome Colosseum

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How cold is Rome in March

March is when winter officially ends and spring starts (21st March).

This means that March sees slowly but steadily increasing temperatures as the month progresses and you can expect the feel to go from chilly to mild and pleasant. 

Overall, you are unlikely to come into extreme weather in Rome in March: how chilly will find it partially depends on what you are used to, but freaky weather events aside, this is a time of mild weather. 

It may, however, rain, so being ready for wet days is paramount. 

March in Rome Max Temp.March in Rome Min. Temp.Avg. rainy days
16C / 61F6C/ 43F7

Packing for Rome in March: style guide

Like the rest of Italy, Rome is known for being stylish, but you don’t need to splash out on the latest designer clothes to feel like a local. 

Romans, and I know because I am one of them, are first and foremost practical.

Our city is stunning but it has cobbles, impossible parking and occasionally pouring rain, so we like to be prepared!

I will go into more details later in the post, but when packing for Rome in March:

  • Opt for good walking shoes with rubber soles. They will keep you comfortable while sightseeing (see below for tips on good models) and they are now so in fashion, they are suitable for most occasion. Depending on plans, they may even be the only shoe you need!
  • Save space and leave heels at home. Opt for comfortable wedges if you like the extra height
  • Pack good quality basics and dress them up with accessories. Choose well fitting jeans or trousers, tailored skirts, wrap around dresses, chinos or polo shirts. A good quality basic is more Italian than a fancy brand 
  • Opt for a nice top / short for fancier dinners out and dress it up with a necklace or blazer. You don’t need your best Sunday dress, unless you are heading to a wedding or a special ceremony. 
  • Don’t forget to have a jacket and an umbrella, you will need them in March!
woman spring outfit in light blue

What to pack for Rome in March: my essentials 

Here are the staples of my Rome in March wardrobe

Good quality jeans / pants

March is long pants weather for most people and common choices are jeans and chinos for locals.

Athletic wear is not common among local adults unless they are exercising and it is often the first thing that ‘gives you away’ as an American tourist; however,I hope you don’t let this put you off wearing what makes you comfortable!

If athletic wear is your attire of choice, there is no problem with it in Rome for sightseeing and casual restaurant won’t have a problem with it either. You only need more dressy attire for upscale terraces and restaurants.

Kids can wear jeans, tracksuit bottoms and leggings pretty much anywhere, except for very upscale restaurants.

For versatility, I prefer soft-waist, chino-style pants for boys and baggy styles for girls. 

Long and short sleeved tops for layering

Layers are a traveller’s best friend in March in Rome. So I usually bring dark coloured long sleeve tops and brighter short sleeve ones that I can mix and match.

If, like me, you spend long stretched of time in colder climates (I am thinking UK, Ireland etc), you can probably do without the long sleeve ones but I would pack at least one. 

One day-to-night top / shirt

My favorite travel item is a nice top that can go from day to night. 

This can be as simple as a black, navy or toupe top, a sparkly one or a god shirt or polo shirt for men.  

A casual dress

I love wearing dresses when travelling.

My favourite types are simple dresses I can dress up or down with boots or flats. However, in March in Rome, you will likely feel cold on your legs so my advice is to do like the locals and embrace tights!

Italians love tights and you see them in all colours, worn at all ages.

In fancier restaurants, you may want to avoid excessively bright colors, but black, brow and grey tights are very common. 

A good crossbody bag

The best bag for Rome is a medium size crossbody bag. 

Opt for one tha tis big enough for daily essentials but not so big to be excessively heavy and a hindrance when visiting museums.

Make sure it is big enough for your travel wallet, documents, phone and camera charger and ideally a reusable water bottle and guide book.

I do not find an anti-theft bag a necessity in Rome, especially if you are used to big cities. Make sure, however, you bag does close properly and keep it close to you at all times.

A light jacket or trench

Temperatures rise steadily in Rome in March but you will need a jacket. Most likley, you will be able to take it off during the day or at least leave it open ut you will want to zip up in the evening.

My favourite type of jacket for March in Rome and a very popular style among locals and visitors is puffer jackets: my whole family has one! Mine is by a brand called Fat Face, my daughter has a Zara one, my husband and son one by Berghouse. They all work great so I wouldn’t stress too much about the specific brand.

However, if you can get a rain resistant one, I’d go for it. In Rome, March can be quite rainy.

A cardigan

Cardigans are a great mid layer.I usually bring two in colours matching my tops.


Scarves are maybe the most widely used fashion items in Italy.

Men and women use them extensively to keep warm and as a fashion accessory.

In March, you won’t need very warm ones but I recommend you opt for a large enough scarf you can double up on itself in case of a temperature drop.


Italians love sunglasses as a fashion statement but they are also a must have item in Rome in March’s lovely sun.


This might sound funny but necklaces can change up a look and are a good way to make a simple outfit look dressier for a nigh out.

Also they are a very ‘Italian’ thing to wear if you fancy feeling a little like a local: bold, colourful ones are popular in spring.

The best shoes for Rome in March 

Rome best discovered on foot and a good pair of walking shoes is essential. 


I have here >>> a full guide to the best shoes for Rome but, at a glance, I recommend the following:

Opt for closed toe shoes – March in Rome is not sandals time yet. The rain can make Rome feel a lot colder than the temperature suggests and it also tends to lift a lot of dust that easily makes your feet mucky. Unless you run very hot, there is a good chance you’ll be more comfortable in closed shoes.

Go for rubber soles – they will cushion you from the hard steps on cobbles and prevent slipping in case of rain.

Choose fashion runners, city walking shoes or runners.

Runners/sneakers have become so fashionable lately you see them almost anywhere, a lot more than before. If you opt for fashion shoes like Adidas Stan Smith, Veja or similar, you’ll be able to wear them no problem in mosy places. If you opt for running sneaker like Brooks or Hoka, those are a little more casual so a little less versatile, if going to higher end establishments.

Unless you are very fond of heels or you have a special event, there is on need to pack heels for Rome or Italy in general – flats are perfectly acceptable evening wear, if clean and well kept. 

What to wear to visit the Colosseum in March 

The Colosseum and Roman Forum are archaeological outdoor sites with uneven terrain in most parts.

There is no dress code to access them but good shoes are a must.

Avoid heels or shoes that may cause blisters or slipping: most of the area is essentially a park – dress accordingly.

Read here >>> tips for visiting the Colosseum

Roman colosseum onside with blue sky

What to wear to visit the Vatican in March

The Vatican has a strict dress code that you can find here >>> Vatican dress code need to know

In March, the season is on your side as you are unlikely to be exposing much skin in Rome spring weather. 

To be on the safe side and respectful, avoid short skirts (even with tights), shorts, revealing tops etc. 

Colonnade of Piazza San Pietro by Bernini

Rome in March travel essentials

As well as the above of course you always need your basics: travel documents (passport, visa if needed etc), handbag, phone, adaptors etc . 

Please always remember that you should always have your ID in Italy, so make sure you have a day bag that can keep it safe!

• Underwear, socks and nightwear

• Toiletries

• Sunscreen

• Phone charger

• Portable Power Bank

• Travel adapter

• Passport + travel documents + visa if relevant

• Travel insurance

• Some cash + bank cards 

• International driving licence if relevant

• Phone/ Camera

• Travel umbrella

• Reusable water bottle

• Basic first aid kit

• Medication and prescriptions, if relevant

• Travel stroller suitable for cobbled streets if traveling with a toddler 

• Baby carrier if traveling with a baby

• A good diaper bag that can double up as day bag 

• Italian phrasebook and dictionary

• Rome travel guide for parents on your phone to quickly consults on the go. You can find here >>> Rome with kids – practical travel guide ebook (written by me!)

The best luggage for Rome

The best luggage for Rome is spacious enough to keep safe your clothes and shoes yet light and resistant enough for you to safely manoeuvre it in airports and, if walking, on bumpy cobbled streets.

In terms of larger bags, I recommend:

Handy Toiletries list for Rome

You can buy all this in Rome pharmacy shops or supermarket. If packing toiletries for a short trip, you may want to add to your luggage:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Shower gel / soap (I recommend solid soap for travel)
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Tweezers
  • Comb and brush
  • Face and body moisturizers
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Women sanitary supplies
  • Perfume / skin scent
  • Make up
  • Shaving cream, blades and accessories
  • Hair ties

Accessories and nice to have

The best accessories I recommend for Rome are:

  • Sunglasses –April can bright and lovely, make sure you protect your eyes
  • Necklaces to dress an outfit up or down: Italian women love necklaces!
  • Earrings, again a popular Italian fashion statement
  • Scarf – for warmth and look
  • Eye mask for the plane
  • Travel pillow for the plane

What not to add to your packing list for Rome in March

In most cases, your packing list for Rome in March may exclude:

  • Sandals
  • Flip flops and swimsuits, unless staying in hotel with indoor pool
  • Heels
  • Very warm coats, gloves, hats
  • Very fancy clothes (unless you know you have a special event)

I hope this packing list for March in Rome came handy. Safe travels!

Packing list for Rome in March – pin this!

Photo of Piazza Navona Rome with overlay text what to pack for Rome in March

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