Venice: March Weather Averages
|Sunshine Hours||3 hrs|
|Chance of Sunny Day||25 %|
|Rainfall days||8 days|
|Chance of Rain||28 %|
|Chance of Cloudy Day||28 %|
|Chance of Windy Day||9 %|
|Chance of Fog Day||29%|
|Chance of Snow Day||2%|
Averages for Venice in March
Venice is located on the Northeast shore of Italy on the Mediterranean Sea, enjoying mild, foggy winters and hot, sunny summers. Temperatures in March are slightly milder than that of preceding months, but it is still cool so prepare warm clothing such as hats, scarves, and jackets.
The average temperature reaches around 12°C (that's about 54°F), and can fall as low as 4°C (about 39°F). The average sea temperature is only 11°C (about 52°F) so you would not be advised to go swimming.
There are about 12 hours of average daily sunshine. The length of day rapidly increases over the month by 3.1 minutes day to day. The shortest day is March 1 with 11:09 hours of daylight and the longest day is March 31 with 12:46 hours of daylight. Note that daylight savings time starts on the last Sunday in March.
You can expect to experience rain on an average of 12 days in this month, with the average monthly rain around 64mm. Chance of rain is around 32-39%, increasing slightly as the month progresses. Precipitation is likely to occur as moderate rain, followed by occasional light rain and thunderstorms. Humidity ranges from 62% (mildly humid) to 93% (very humid), rarely dropping below 36% or reaching as high as 100%. The air is most humid around the first week of March, around 91%, and driest around March 29, when it drops below 68%.
Daily wind speed averages between no wind to 11 mph (calm to gentle breeze). Lowest average wind speed occurs around early March at around 9 mph, picking up by the end of the month to around 11 mph.
Cloud cover is fairly consistent at 50% 9partly cloudy), with little variation through March. On any given day, the sky is mostly clear 38% of the time, partly cloudy 22% of the time, and mostly cloudy 28% of the time. However, snow is extremely uncommon, with the likelihood peaking at only 4% on March 1.
The beginning of March enjoys about 11 hours of sunlight. Daily average temperature is 6°C (44°F), with highs up to 10°C (50°F) and lows around 2°C (36°F). This begins to rise as the month progresses, to averages of 9°C (48°F), highs of 12°C (55°F) and lows of 4°C (40°F). By the end of the month, averages are around 11°C (52°F), highs around 14°C (58°F) and lows around 6°C (44°F).
THINGS TO DO
The Holy Week is the official start of the tourist season in Venice. During this time, you’ll be treated to stunning pageants, classical concerts, large holy masses and a plethora of performances. Most famous of all events in Venice is Carnevale, which occurs at the beginning of Lent and sometimes in March. Travellers from all over the world journey here to enjoy the celebrations, masquerade balls, fairs, parades and children’s games.
Venice Carneval spectacular. Photo by Rolando CRINITI.
The weather is still chilly, however, so huddle up in your jacket and head to one of the city’s magnificent museums. Once you’ve seen the popular museums off St. Mark’s Square, try hitting the beaten path and explore one of the lesser-known ones.
The triangular Punta della Dogana Museum of Contemporary Art divides the Guidecca Canal and the Grand Canal in Venice. Its exhibition of modern art is the one of the largest in the world. There are frequent art events and guided tours—be sure to check the website before you go.
The Fortuny Museum, once owned by the renowned Pesaro family, lies on Piazza San Marco. The Gothic structure houses magnificent art collections. Or view some outlandish dresses once worn by Venetian noblewomen, on display at the 17th century Palazzo Mocenigo. Within this house are also five rooms dedicated to the history and science of spices and perfume in Venice.
Families might try the Museo Storico Navale (Riva S. Biagio Castello 2148) for a thorough overview of Venice’s naval heritage. On display you can view several interesting memorabilia, such as eggy Guggenheim’s private gondola with its discreet little cabin and the Doges’ magnificent ceremonial Bunctoro vessel.
Art and architecture aficionados will adore Venice, with its historical buildings and magnificent churches. One of the best is I Frari, a beautiful Gothic cathedral that houses Canova’s mausoleum, a Bellini Madonna and Child, an Assumption by Titian and Loghena’s creepy Doge Pesaro funeral monument.
In the northern district of Cannaregio, on the wide pedestrian street Strada Nova you can find everything from souvenir shops to everyday supermarkets. Or you can learn how to make your own jewels at Antichita Claudia Zaggia, which displays a fine collection of Venetian glass beads and antique perlines.
Strada Nova. Photo by avery ng.
If you have a few extra days in the city, escape the hubbub of Carnevale and take a one-hour boat ride out to Torcello. This island is a nature reserve and consists of calm fields, peaceful wetlands and ample opportunities for natural hiking. Only 20 people live on the island. Be sure to stop by the Santa Fosca and Santa Maria Assunta churches adorned in Byzantine mosaics. Torcello is also home to some intriguing tidbits—a Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge) and Atilla’s Throne, ancient stone chair with dubious heritage. Torcello is a short boat ride from Burano on vaporetto line 9, which runs every half hour during the day.
Or visit the beautiful Lake Garda, just a day trip from Venice and located halfway between Brescia and Verona. The shores are dotted with charming towns, villages and spa resorts. You can participate in water sports such as windsurfing and sailing, or spend the day out on the south bank climbing or biking the hills.
Venetians celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th. Restaurants typically serve special menus on this day, as any locals commemorate by going out to eat—so book a table well before.
On March 19, the Feast Day of Saint Joseph (a.k.a. Father's Day), children give gifts to their fathers. Food on this day is traditionally served containing breadcrumbs, to represent sawdust as St. Joseph was a carpenter. People construct a special altar and place items around it: flowers, candles, wine, cakes, bread and cookies.
EATING AND DRINKING OUT
It’s perhaps no surprise that the city has a rich heritage of seafood cuisine. Wander over to Osteria Anice Stellato (Fondamenta de la Sensa) for delicious pistachio-encrusted lamb chops, house-made prawn ravioli and lightly fried crab. The relaxed atmosphere Al Vecio Canton (Castello 4738a) enchants any visitor with its pizza and seafood pasta at affordable prices. At the end of the meal there is a free digestivo of vodka and lemon.
If you’re on the lookout for that “hidden secret,” you won’t have to look much farther than Trattoria Corte Sconta (Calle del Pestrin 3886). The cuisine here pairs inventive dishes with homemade classics—clams, prawns, roast eel and courtgette linguine.
Or hop on a water bus over the marshes to Torcello Island, just 10 kilometres from St. Mark’s Square. Amble past the old Byzantine cathedral to Locanda Cipriani (Piazza Santa Fosca 29) for a tasty lunch of fish, homemade pasta and cream cakes under the pergolas.
In the mood for something more formal? Try Pane Vino e San Daniele (Campo dell-Angelo Raffaele, Dorsoduro), for their 3-course meals with wine, water and coffee for just 45 euros. This fantastic trattoria has a full menu of local and Puglian and Sardinian specialties, with gluten-free, dairy free and diabetic options available.
Venice proper is not well known for its dance clubs or discotheques, but bistros have been known to open their doors to live music late in the evening. Il Paradiso Perduto (Fondamenta della Misercordia) is a restaurant by day and hosts live music by night, attracting youths from the nearby university with loud Italian rap. Al Merca is a Venetian hole in the wall bar, where everyone stands out in the square downing spritz or Prosecco and munching on bar snacks.
One of the few nightclubs Molocinque (Via Elettricità 8) is one of Venice’s most popular nightclub with impressive art deco that features everything from hip hop to merengue. Check online for the schedule to see what type of music is playing during the evening.
Another Venetian institution is Bacareto da Lele (Campo dei Tolentini 183), where local students and boatmen stop by from work for a little glass of wine and mini-panini full of cheese and ham especially for take away.
Harry’s Bar (Calle Vallaresso 1323) is a simple, slick cafe, with understated décor but expensive prices. Its located near the San Marco Vallaresso vaporetto stop. Don’t leave without trying the trademark carpaccio: wafer-thin slices of raw beef, with mayonnaise, Worcester sauce and lemon juice.
If jazz is your thing, try Bacaro Jazz (San Marco 5546), a vivacious cocktail bar just two minutes’ walk from the Rialto Bridge. The Venice Jazz Club also features regular shows from local and international musicians every day except Sunday.
WHERE TO STAY
A good moderate option is Hotel Giorgione (Calle Larga dei Proverbi 4587), located just 10 minutes from Piazza San Marco. This is a family-run hotel offers rooms equipped with satellite TV, minibar, AC, bathtub and shower. Some rooms have a charming roof terrace (of some which are private), with views of rooftops, belltowers and domes of Cannaregio.
For those on a budget, Venice is not exactly the most inexpensive destination. However, you may try your luck at Hotel San Giorgio (Rio Terà della Mandola), located in an antique Gothic palace. The warm decor has stucco, Venetian glass and garnet-red marble. Its 16 rooms can accommodate singles, doubles, triples and quadruples, with A/C, minibar, TV and internet.
Residenza Ca Malipiero Venice (Castello 4852) is located in the Santa Maria Formosa behind St. Mark’s Square. Originally built in the historic 16th century, it has all the modern amenities and prices of a three star guesthouse.
Looking for something different yet comfortable? Try the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice (Giudecca 810), a restored former flour mill that dates back to 1895. Its 379 rooms and suites are all equipped with king size beds or two twin beds, 32” plasma TV, a safe and high speed internet. Onsite facilities include a fitness centre, panoramic rooftop pool, and various restaurants and bars.
Ca’ Gottardi is a hidden gem in the Cannaregio region (2283). This 15th-century townhouse overlooks a small canal in Venice, not too far from the Rialto Bridge. Antique furnishings like chandeliers and brocade curtains blend with modern amenities such as satellite TV, minibar, heating, A/C, and private safe. Standard and superior doubles are available for couples, and the junior suite and suite for families or simply those who need extra space.
Visitors on the lookout for something more sleek and chic might try Ca’ Pisani (Rio Terra Foscarini 979A), with its impressive art deco interior. The hotel also houses some of the artwork by Italian Futurist Fortunato Depero. Rooms are available as doubles, junior suite, family room, and a duplex with two levels—a bedroom in mezzanine and small living room downstairs.
Visitors travelling on the cheap will find only a handful of inexpensive accommodation in Venice. Located in the Jewish Ghetto, Domus Orsoni (Cannaregio 1045) is on the site of the last glass foundry on the main island. Each of its five rooms is unique, carefully decorated in glass mosaics combined with precious woods. The rooms are equipped with private bathroom with shower or bathtub, minibar, safe, TV set, A/C and Internet connection.
The Danieli Hotel Venice is a luxury accommodation offering 215 singles and doubles, some with lagoon view. On-site facilities include the Venetian-inspired Restaurant Terrazza Danieli, and the Bars Dandolo and Terrazza Danieli. A unique feature of the hotel is the Danieli Wine Suite, a lavishly decorated wine bar with picturesque views of the lagoon and city from the top floor.