• 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
Gay civil unions finally become a reality in Italy
Italy became the last major country in Europe to recognize same-sex civil unions in May. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Italy's first civil union has been performed and will be registered in 10 days' time.

Mussolini's region votes to criminalize fascist souvenirs
Souvenirs plastered with the face of fascist dicator Benito Mussolini. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The sale of trinkets and souvenirs bearing the image of Benito Mussolini has been outlawed in the region of Italy where the fascist dictator was born and raised.

New rescue plan sends shares Italy's oldest bank soaring
The ancient headquarters of Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Photo:Carlo Hermann/AFP

Shares in Monte Paschi di Siena (BMPS) soared on the Milan stock exchange on Friday, boosted by a possible new lifeline tabled by a veteran Italian banker and Swiss giant UBS.

Italy has expelled 35 Islamist terrorists in 2016: Alfano
Italy's Interiror Minister, Angelino Alfano. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Thursday told Parliament that 35 Islamists had been expelled from the country so far in 2016.

Venice Film Festival
Hollywood dominates Venice film fest line-up
The Golden Lion is the top price at Venice's annual film festival. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Just three Italian films are in the running for the Golden Lion.

Italy energy giant boosts 2016 profit forecast
Energy giant Enel revised its 2016 profit estimates upwards on Thursday. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italian energy giant Enel on Thursday revised upwards its profit forecast for 2016 after first-half net profit remained stable despite a sharp fall in revenue.

Stress tests to show extent of problems at Italy's oldest bank
The ancient headquarters of Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace

Stress test results for Europe's top banks come out Friday and all eyes will be on Italy's embattled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) - the world's oldest bank.

Video
Tourists blame Google for drive in car-free Venice
Cars are not allowed to enter Venice. Photo: Screengrab/La Nuova Venezia

“Google Maps sent us this way.”

Italy launches hard-hitting campaign to put off migrants
Migrants arriving in Reggio Calabria, in southern Italy. Photo: Giovanni Isolino/AFP

People thinking about making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean are being encouraged to "make an informed decision" by a shocking Italian campaign.

Filthy Rome's rubbish problem 'fixed within a month'
Rome's new council say the city will be clean 'by August 20th'. Photo:Andreas Solaro/AFP

The heaps of rubbish on Rome's streets will be consigned to the dustbin of history next month. That's the plan, at least.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
Travel
Escape the heat at one of these beautiful Italian lakes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Why the UK is now officially crazier than Italy
Culture
How you can stay cool like an ancient Roman
Lifestyle
Food for thought: fight on to save Med diet from extinction
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
From asylum seeker in Italy to organic yoghurt entrepreneur
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Fifteen maps that tell the story of Italy
National
Why Italy might be the next big threat to the EU's future
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Politics
Post Brexit, less than a third of Italians want to leave EU
Politics
The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Culture
Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
2,577
jobs available