What to Wear to Italy in March (And What Not to Pack)

I spent over a month contemplating what to wear in Italy in March. The travel itinerary would lead me through the northern region, to places with the average temperature of 60-degrees Fahrenheit and light rain, so packing would be no simple task (is it ever?).

I definitely didn’t get the packing thing exactly right the first time around, but there were a lot of lessons learned that I can share with you, so you don’t make the same mistakes as me.


What to Wear to Italy in March
(And What Not to Pack)


Just like many destinations, travel fashion in Italy really does depend on the area you are in. The bigger the city the more trendy, and the smaller the town the more laid back. There is no rule that you have to dress as the Italians do, but if you don’t want to stand out as a tourist there are a few simple tips to follow.

Weather in Italy in March

Of course the weather depends on the exact location in Italy, but in general in March the weather in northern Italy ranges from 35-55°F and gets slightly warmer the more south you go. Due to the chilly weather, March is still the shoulder season, but this may make it the perfect time to visit (it was for me!). Anytime you can get to Italy when there is less traffic on the streets and at the attractions it makes for a better experience.

Keep in mind that many Italians dress for the season, not the weather. It doesn’t matter if the sun is out, if it is October they will be wearing their Fall clothes. Even on the sunny afternoons, I saw people bundled in their coats and scarves. I had brought a few sleeveless blouses for going out to dinner, though quickly found that even though the restaurants were warm, no one really wore anything that could be considered summer-time clothing.

What to Wear to Italy in March (And What Not to Pack)

What to Wear in Italy in March

  • All types of Boots. Though I am a big fan of knee-high boots, most locals these days are wearing ankle or mid-calf boots. Here are some of my favorite travel boots.
  • Thick Peacoat. Something that can be worn with a dress or a pair of jeans.
  • Small messenger and cross-body bags. Nordstroms has a great variety of bags in all different shapes and sizes.
  • Dark skinny jeans. Either dark blue or dark gray were the most popular.
  • Cool, European-style tennis/walking shoes. See some examples here.
  • Low-top Converse.
  • Scarves.
  • Dark, muted colors. When in doubt, black or gray are always safe choices. Very few people will be wearing anything too bright or fluorescent.

What NOT to Wear in Italy in March

  • White tennis shoes. Unless they are Converse!
  • Classic Fanny packs. Instead opt for a trendy leather one.
  • Bright colors.
  • Printed Souvenir T-shirts. Stay away from wearing any “I Love XYZ” t-shirts.
  • Baseball hats.
  • Sports/Camping Backpacks.
  • Light colored jeans or white pants.

Hermance Village in Geneva Switzerland

Things I Should Not Have Packed (But Did)

  • High heels. It takes skill to walk the cobbled streets of Italy without tripping, a skill that I do not have. Plus, you will be walking a lot!
  • Bright Red Jacket.

Annette White strolling through Lubenice in Cres Croatia

Things I Should Have Packed for Italy, But Didn’t

  • More scarves. It would have been nice to have a couple different colors to accessorize with.
  • A simple knit hat. 

Annette White walking through the old town of Lyon, France

Go to My Trip to Northern Italy, Day 1 & 2


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2019-02-13T13:30:10+00:00February 13th, 2019|Categories: Europe, Italy, TRAVEL|

17 Comments

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  4. Kristin March 7, 2012 at 9:22 am - Reply

    This was fabulously helpful. The pictures were perfect!! Im about to start packing for my trip in 2 weeks and this was exactly what I needed to see. Thanks!

    • Annette White March 7, 2012 at 10:02 am - Reply

      I’m so happy it helped. I always go crazy when trying to figure out what to wear while traveling. Have a wonderful trip, Italy is amazing 🙂

  5. Najla January 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    This is helpful – thanks! Need more advice. My husband and I are going Feb. 22 – Mar. 4 to Rome and Florence.  We are going with our four boys (17, 14, 12 and 9).  They typically wear jeans, and long-sleeved shirts (tees and stuff). They have enough non-logo stuff… But they are going to want to wear their tennis shoes. I'm kinda nervous now! Do I have to buy them a new wardrobe!?

    • Annette White January 19, 2013 at 9:32 am - Reply

      Have a wonderful time in Italy! My hubby wears white tennis shoes on every trip we have ever been on with absolutely no problems 🙂 Though I like to fit in, it is more important to be comfortable for the miles…and miles…of walking you will be doing.

  6. Northern Italy Trip, Day 4 – Venice January 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm - Reply

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  7. Valerie Sophocleous January 30, 2013 at 4:57 am - Reply

    I got the idea of what to wear. i already told my friend, lots of leggings and different color and texture of scarves!  Spring or winter coat?  I'm from Ohio, a winter coat means winter!

    • Annette White January 30, 2013 at 10:01 am - Reply

      You definitely can’t go wrong with with leggings and colored scarves. Many people were wearing winter jackets, but I got by just fine with a sweater, scarve and Spring coat. Though, make sure to check the weather before going.

  8. Michelle February 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great tips Annette! I'm going to France and Italy in March and wasn't sure if boots were fashionable. I don't want to look like a tourist, so I'm glad everything you have suggested is pretty much what I was hoping.

    • Annette White February 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      The last time I was in Europe (Spain & Londong), after this trip, ankle boots were all the rage!! I had brought comfy knee high boots, which were fine, but I bought me some ankle boots as soon as I got home 🙂 Have fun!!!

  9. Loree February 3, 2014 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Hi Annette,

    I will be in Italy March 16-26. Just curious if you think knee high suede wedge boots would be ok?

    Also I was thinking of my frye low harness boot.

    I’m also bringing knee high riding boots & wedge sneakers.

    Thanks,
    Loree

    • Annette White February 5, 2014 at 8:51 am - Reply

      Hello Loree,
      I was back to Italy a few weeks ago and all types of boots were popular, especially ankle boots. I saw a few converse style tennis shoes too. My first trip I brought a wedged boot and it worked out fine. Though, keep in mind that there is typically A LOT of walking that needs to be done in Italy and many of the streets a cobbled. So, most importantly, wear something comfortable.
      Usually on my winter/spring trips I bring two types of shoes, a flat boot that can be dressed up or down and a tennis shoe. I typically would only bring a heeled shoe if I was doing something really fancy. Also, keep in mind that Italy has great shopping 🙂
      Have fun!

  10. Kari February 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great tips! I’ve been trying to research what to wear as my husband and I will be traveling to Venice for several days at the end of March. It’s kind of daunting trying to figure out what to take when all we will each have is a suitcase that is carry-on size. Any tips for absolute basics?

  11. rachel April 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    so, i leave in two days for a week in late April — weather 60-70 and cloudy and showers are forecast every day! We’ll be in Florence, Tuscany, Cinque terre and Venice. For travel like this, I usually bring trendy jeans and dresses that I can layer with scarves, light sweaters and chic ponchos. My plan was to bring trendy sneakers (think sneakers with a cute dress), a flat sandal and one chunky sandal. The rain has me off my game. Help please with footwear. I don’t want soaked feet, but I also don’t want to lug my hiking boots or my trendy black rainboots (which give me sweaty feet anyway). Thanks!

    • Annette White April 20, 2017 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Now when I travel in the weather you described I almost always bring just one pair of shoes, a pair of boots. My go-to boot is Clarks (similar to these) because they are cute enough to wear with a dress, are comfy enough to walk all day in and have enough traction to even do some light hiking in!

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