• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
What's On
Ten wonderful things to do in Italy in March
Head to the Umbrian town of Panicale for La Pasquetta. Photo: G Travels

Ten wonderful things to do in Italy in March

The Local · 1 Mar 2016, 10:23

Published: 01 Mar 2016 10:23 GMT+01:00

Tipicità, the 'made in Le Marche' festival - Fermo, March 5th-7th

Photo: Elizabeth Buie

Located on the Adriatic coast, Le Marche is not the most visited region of Italy by tourists. But that’s the tourists loss. A trip to Fermo, a small town in the heart of the region, for Tipicità, will show you everything you’ve missed while seeing Tuscany or Piedmont. In it’s 24th edition, the Tipicità attracts all of the region’s best food and drink, from lightly fried olives stuffed with meat and cheese to Le Marche’s own lasagna recipe, with veal ragu and Béchamel sauce, or just fresh sea food freshly caught from the Adriatic. As if you needed any more of a reason to visit, Tipicità will also have a whole beer section this year, for those missing the hops and mats after too long sipping Chianti.

Wine in the Springtime - Rovescala, Lomdardy, every Sunday in March

Photo: Stefano Petroni

And for those who could never have too much wine, hop on a train to Milan and then travel into the Lombardy countryside to Rovescala. Every Sunday in March, to honour the new season, the small town evolves into a huge open air market dedicated only to the white, pink and red stuff. Surrounded by vineyards that create Bonarda, a wine grape once common to Italy but now grown only in the hills around the town, Rovescala also hosts an assortment of other events to keep the festival-goers happy. Expect concerts, vintage car shows, parades and all the usual trappings of a festival della primavera to welcome back the warm weather.

Commemoration of Caesar's death - Rome, March 15th

To commemorate the death of Julius Caesar, cultural events are usually held in the Roman Forum, while a re-enactment of his death takes place at the site where he was assassinated - Torre Argentina.

Saint Joseph’s Day - all of Italy, March 19th

Named in honour of Joseph, Jesus’s foster father, Saint Giuseppe’s day honours fathers everywhere. Presents are handed out, from child to father, and the traditional food of zeppole, or deep fried balls of sweetened dough covered in granulated sugar, are eaten. Zeppole can sometimes be filled with cream as well, for a stunningly delicious treat. So grab some from a street cart and remind your father why you are so grateful for their influence on your life.


Palio dei Somari di Torrita di Siena, March 20th


Photo: Janus Kinase

Siena is world famous for its yearly Palio, between the contrade — or districts — of the city. In this famous event, a rider from each contrade mounts a horse to compete for a statue of the Virgin Mary. However, Torrita di Siena’s event is much less competitive, mostly by choice of stede. For every year, the town takes to the streets for their own race by donkey’s back. While it doesn't make for photo finishes, it does make for an entertaining time. Expect all the pageantry of Siena’s more popular palio's without any of the stakes.

Festival of Saint Francesca Romana - Rome, March 9th

Saint Francesca Romana was a noblewoman in the 1400s who founded a new order of nuns to visit and take care of the sick. In the 1920s, Pope Pius XI decided to also name her as the patron saint of driving. Ever since, drivers have brought their cars — from Fiats to Ferraris — to her namesake church in Rome, close to the Vittoria Emmanuele monument, to have their motors blessed on her feast day. So forget an oil change, and take your car in to get a holy protection, as well as a nice joy ride through the newly green hills of Italy.

Easter - all of Italy, March 27th

Christmas is certainly a big deal, but ask any Catholic what the most important holiday of the year is and they are sure to respond 'Easter'. Whether you like it because it means spring is right around the corner, for the religious significance, or just to see the whole family all in one place, Easter is quite the occasion. As such, Italy has a whole host of events to celebrate the day, including…

The Explosion of the Cart - Florence


Photo: David Durran

Story continues below…

Deriving from the Crusades, the Explosion of the Cart, or Scoppio de Carro in Italian, is an old Florentine tradition in which a cart filled with fireworks is wheeled around the city until it rests in front of the famous Duomo. Then, a fire is lit from ancient flint taken during the crusades and carried by torch to the same central cathedral. There, the Cardinal of Florence lights a fuse to the cart with the torch after the completion of the Easter mass, setting of the fireworks and starting the city’s celebrations.

The Stations of the Cross — Rome

Held every year on Good Friday, the stations of the cross are a Catholic tradition meant to elaborate on the trials of Christ before his crucifixion. In Rome is the greatest performance of them of all though, lead by Pope Francis himself, presented in several languages, and using a massive cross with torches to light up the night sky.

La Pasquetta — all of Italy, March 27th


Ready to roll cheese? Photo: David Cresswell

Now that the main feast is over, sleep late and enjoy a day off on La Pasquetta, or Easter Monday. Picnics are a common way to celebrate, as well as egg races. An upscale version of this is held in the village of Panicale in Perugia. Known as Ruzzolone, the locals roll whole wheels of cheese, with the person who sends it rolling farthest winning bragging rights for the year. If you think you can win at this most Italian version of curling, stop by.

By Stephen Carruso

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Dozens missing in fresh migrant shipwreck: rescuers
Dozens more migrants are reported missing after a fishing boat sank on Friday. Photo: AFP

The Italian coastguard is searching for survivors after an overloaded fishing boat sank off the coast of Libya.

'Racist' Chinese ad causes outrage...but Italy did it first
Screengrab: Qiaobi/YouTube

A TV advert for a Chinese laundry detergent has been widely condemned, with commentators saying it’s the most racist ad to ever be screened. But hang on, a similar one was made in Italy...

Alicia Keys to sing live at Milan Champions League final
Alicia Keys will become the first person to sing live at a Champions League final. Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/AFP

The final will be held at Milan's San Siro stadium on Saturday.

Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
The wreck of the P311. Photo: Massimo Domenico Bondone

People were stunned by the discovery of a body-filled, Second World War-era submarine off the coast of Sardinia earlier this week, not least Paul Denison, who told The Local his great-uncle was among the 71 who perished on board.

Man can pay ex-wife's alimony with pizza, Italian court rules
A court in Padua has ruled in favour of a divorced father who pays alimony to his ex-wife in the form of pizza. Photo: Erich Ferdinand/Flickr

Every family's needs are different...

Iconic photos of Hiroshima horror go on show in Rome
Ken Domon at work. Photo: Wikimedia commons

It is the first time the works have gone on display outside Japan.

Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
The research paints a grim picture of the dangers faced by ancient Roman workers . Photo: Carla Caladarini

The average Roman worker suffered several broken bones, had arthritis at 20 and was dead by 30.

Video
Over 100 feared dead in new migrant boat tragedies in Med
An image taken of Wednesday's migrant shipwreck. Photo: Marina Miltare

Over 100 migrants were feared dead on Thursday after two crowded boats capsized off Libya in separate incidents, with one of the tragedies captured on video that shows dramatic rescues and desperate final moments.

Italian man lay dead in flat for 5 years before anyone noticed
The man's body was found at his home in Cagliari, Sardinia. Photo: Simon Frost

"Nobody questioned his disappearance, nobody went looking for him."

'20 to 30' people dead in new migrant shipwreck
The latest disaster comes two days after five people died while trying to make the crossing to Italy. Photo: Marinare Militare

Between 20 to 30 people have drowned in the latest migrant shipwreck off Libya.

Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
Society
Cheese, wine and family: the Italian way to live beyond 100
2,525
jobs available