The Local Italy rolls out Membership: Why it’s a positive move for readers

Should I pay to join The Local Italy? That's the question I hope readers will ask themselves today and over the coming weeks.

The Local Italy rolls out Membership: Why it's a positive move for readers

Our site, which has been free up until now, introduced membership on September 18th. It's fair to say the news is still sinking in with many readers. But we are very grateful to all those who have already signed up.

Essentially this means that to continue having unlimited access to the site, as well as being able to read the members' only “Premium” articles we'll publish, we're asking you to pay a contribution.

Occasional readers will still be able to read a number of articles each month for free.

Currently you can sign up for monthly membership at an introductory offer of just €2.49/month, or €24.99/year.  

CLICK HERE if you want to join.

Since the beginning the aim of The Local Italy has been to give readers the essential news that keeps them up-to-date and informed with what is happening in the country. We've also tried to explain Italy to readers and help them with the essentials they need.

So from my point of view membership is a positive step. Asking readers to pay brings a responsibility that will make us improve what we do.

If we can reduce our reliance on advertising we won't need to chase clicks like other sites. We can concentrate on the stories that matter to our regular audience.

And having paid members will put more power at The Local in the hands of our readers.

We want members to help guide us on what stories or issues we need to cover, and to help us cover them. We'll be feeding back our Members' input into our editorial decisions, to help you determine how we can serve you best.

Advertising alone can never reliably fund the kind of service we as a company and I as the editor of The Local Italy want to offer you, our readers. We want to do more, and we want to do it better.

In short, we believe membership will help us give you what you need to know about Italy.

CLICK HERE to join.

For members


Today in Italy: A round-up of the latest news on Monday

Find out what's going on in Italy today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Italy: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Italy tightens coronavirus restrictions in three regions

Three more Italian regions are under tighter restrictions from Monday March coronavirus infections continue to rise.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza signed a new ordinance making the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto orange zones.

The Campania region, which includes Naples, is classified as a red zone, joining the regions of Basilicata and Molise in the highest-risk level.

The health ministry noted that its regional rules are in force alongside any further restrictions announced by local authorities in each town, province or region.

MAP: Which zone is your region in under Italy’s tier system?

Photo by Carlo Hermann/AFP

White-zone region of Sardinia starts testing arrivals

The island of Sardinia, which last week became Italy’s first low-contagion-risk ‘white zone’, started testing new arrivals for Covid-19 on Monday.

The first people to be tested were around 600 passengers arriving on three ships in the port of OIbia early on Monday; two from Livorno and one from Civitavecchia.

Being a white zone makes it  possible to drop many of the coronavirus restrictions in force in the rest of the country.

READ ALSO: What are the rules in Italy’s first coronavirus ‘white zone’?

This is part of a wider strategy to keep infection rates down and make Sardinia a “Covid-free” island in time for summer, Salinas told Italian media last week.

If the result of the rapid test is negative, arrivals can continue their journeys. If not, a PCR swab test is required to confirm the result.

Italy authorizes AstraZeneca vaccine for over-65s

Italy on Monday authorised the administration of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine to those over 65 years of age.

The health ministry said in a statement the vaccine could be used safely on people 65 and older, except for “extremely vulnerable” subjects.

The AstraZeneca jab was initially only approved for adults aged 55 or under in Italy, but that age limit was recently raised to 65.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza has pledged that everyone in Italy who wants to be vaccinated for Covid-19 will be able to get the jab by the end of the summer.


The minister also said he was open to the option of using the Russian Sputnik vaccine in future.

This followed his statement last week that Italy is considering giving just one vaccine dose to people who have had Covid-19.

Astrazeneca Covid vaccine
The AstraZeneca vaccine. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Italian students protest against distance learning as more schools close

As more regions close their schools under renewed coronavirus restrictions, two-thirds of all school students in Italy are studying remotely as of Monday March 8th.

In the latest round of demonstrations against school closures in recent weeks, students held protests on Monday in several Italian towns and cities.

In the Piedmont region, where all schools were closed again from Monday, high school and middle school students held a protest against distance learning outside the offices of the regional government in Piazza Castello, Turin.

“There is no data that shows that more infections occur at school, yet they continue to keep us at home and we can’t take it anymore”, Maia, a third year student of the Gioberti classical high school in Turin, told Rai News

Italy arrests Algerian suspected of aiding Paris attackers

talian police said on Monday they had arrested a 36-year-old Algerian on suspicion of belonging to the Islamic State group and helping the authors of the November 2015 Paris attacks.

According to anti-terrorism investigators in the southern city of Bari, the man gave direct support to the Islamist suicide bombers and gunmen, to whom he “guaranteed the availability of forged documents”, a police statement said.

Some 130 people were killed and 350 wounded in a night of carnage on November 13, 2015, when Islamist suicide bombers and gunmen attacked sites, including the Bataclan concert hall, the Stade de France and the bar Le Carillon.

Investigators believe the arrested man was part of an Islamic State cell operating in France and Belgium with his two brothers, according to Italian media.

La Repubblica daily named him as Athmane Touami, adding that he had reportedly already been in prison in Bari for carrying false documents and was due to be released in June.

The detention order, according to the paper, states that since 2010, Touami and his brothers also had contact with Amedy Coulibaly and Cherif Kouachi, two of the extremists in the Paris attacks of January 2015, who attacked a Jewish supermarket and the Charlie Hebdo newsroom, respectively.

 A press conference with investigators was scheduled for later on Monday.