These are the events cancelled in Italy over coronavirus fears

If you're planning to attend any kind of event in Italy in the coming weeks it's worth double checking that it hasn't been cancelled or postponed.

These are the events cancelled in Italy over coronavirus fears
A sign announcing cancellations at Milan's famed La Scala opera house. Photo: AFP

Regional authorities in the parts of Italy worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak have started cancelling events and temporarily closing down public buildings, including museums, schools, churches and football stadiums.

As the list of cancelled events across the country grows, we've listed some of the biggest events around Italy currently affected by the emergency measures.

Cultural events

This time of year is normally a busy one and towns across Italy have a calendar packed full of cultural events. But unfortunately many of these have now been cancelled.

Most notably, the Venice carnival was cut short on Sunday and the Ivrea orange festival was cancelled.

READ ALSO: How safe is it to visit Italy after the coronavirus outbreak?

Many smaller local carnival events planned in towns across the country this week have also been cancelled as a precaution by local authorities, even in areas where no cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.

This includes the popular Carnevalone liberato di Poggio Mirteto in Lazio, which had been scheduled to begin on March 1st.

Performances at Milan's famed opera house La Scala have also been called off.

St Mark's Square in Venice was quiet this week after carnival events were cancelled. Photo: AFP

Trade shows and events

Milan Fashion Week was closed to the public as a precaution.

Several important trade shows have been postponed, including the Milan Furniture Fair, which was scheduled for the end of April but has now been pushed back to June.

Parma's Mercanteinfiera event, dedicated to antiques, modern antiques and vintage collectibles, has been postponed until June.

Bologna's Children's Book Fair has also been postponed until May.

The International Journalism Festival, set to be held in Perugia, Umbria, in April, has been cancelled.

Sports events

Sporting events and competitions “of all types and disciplines, in public or private places” are suspended in the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont.

Five Serie A football matches have been postponed, including Sunday's clash between Juventus and Inter Milan, the Italian football league said on Saturday.

Other matches have been cancelled, including AC Milan v Genoa, Parma v SPAL, and Sassuolo v Brescia, all scheduled for Sunday, and Saturday's clash between Udinese and Fiorentina.
The country's rugby and volleyball federations also have postponed fixtures set to take place next weekend. Italy's Six Nations match with Ireland in Dublin has also been scrapped.

The Bologna Marathon scheduled for Sunday March 1st is also cancelled.

MAP: Which parts of Italy are most affected by the coronavirus outbreak?

Some regions have seen more event cancellations than others.

In the worst-hit regions of Lombardy and Veneto, local authorities banned events of any nature that attract crowds and closed museums and monuments, including Milan cathedral, which is currently off limits to tourists, although an area has been made available for those wanting to pray.

Find all The Local's coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy here

Photo: AFP

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Why Friday the 13th isn’t an unlucky date in Italy

Unlucky for some, but not for Italians. Here's why today's date isn't a cause for concern in Italy - but Friday the 17th is.

Why Friday the 13th isn't an unlucky date in Italy

When Friday the 13th rolls around, many of us from English-speaking countries might reconsider any risky plans. And it’s not exactly a popular date for weddings in much of the western world.

But if you’re in Italy, you don’t need to worry about it.

There’s no shortage of strongly-held superstitions in Italian culture, particularly in the south. But the idea of Friday the 13th being an inauspicious date is not among them.

Though the ‘unlucky 13’ concept is not unknown in Italy – likely thanks to the influence of American film and TV – here the number is in fact usually seen as good luck, if anything.

The number 17, however, is viewed with suspicion and Friday the 17th instead is seen as the unlucky date to beware of.

Just as some Western airlines avoid including the 13th row on planes, you might find number 17 omitted on Italian planes, street numbering, hotel floors, and so on – so even if you’re not the superstitious type, it’s handy to be aware of.

The reason for this is thought to be because in Roman numerals the number 17 (XVII) is an anagram of the Latin word VIXI, meaning ‘I have lived’: the use of the past tense apparently suggests death, and therefore bad luck. It’s less clear what’s so inauspicious about Friday.

So don’t be surprised if, next time Friday 17th rolls around, you notice some Italian shops and offices closed per scaramanzia’.

But why then does 13 often have a positive connotation in Italy instead?

You may not be too surprised to learn that it’s because of football.

Ever heard of Totocalcio? It’s a football pools betting system in which players long tried to predict the results of 13 different matches.

There were triumphant calls of ho fatto tredici! – ‘I’ve done thirteen’ – among those who got them all right. The popular expression soon became used in other contexts to mean ‘I hit the jackpot’ or ‘that was a stroke of luck!’

From 2004, the number of games included in Totocalcio rose to 14, but you may still hear winners shout ‘ho fatto tredici’ regardless.

Other common Italian superstitions include touching iron (not wood) for good luck, not toasting with water, and never pouring wine with your left hand.