Italian towns switch heating on early as temperatures plummet

People in many parts of Italy are turning up the heating this week after temperatures plunged.
People in many parts of Italy are turning up the heating this week. Photo: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP
Residents in some of Italy's coldest areas have been permitted to crank up the thermostat a week ahead of schedule amid a cold snap affecting most of the country.

Mayors of towns including Bolzano and Campobasso have authorised residents to switch on their central heating from Friday, October 8th, a week ahead of schedule.

The mayor of the northern province of Bolzano signed an ordinance allowing heating systems in residential buildings to be switched on from Friday, as temperatures in the area plunged below seasonal averages and were forecast to drop further over the weekend, news agency Ansa reports.

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Meanwhile Campobasso, a city and province located at a high altitude in the southern region of Molise, has also said residents can switch their heating on – but not for more than seven hours a day and without exceeding an indoor temperature of 20C.

In the interests of saving energy, Italy has national rules in place about when different provinces can use central heating (riscaldamento centralizzato) in residential buildings, based on their average seasonal temperature. Many areas also have maximum temperature and time limits.

As you’d expect, northern and mountainous areas are the first to be allowed to switch on the heat in October, while some parts of the south can’t turn up the dial until December.

The first switch-on is usually scheduled for October 15th in areas like Bolzano and Campobasso, which are deemed to be among the coldest parts of the country, in ‘Zone E’.

Other municipalities may yet decide to allow an early switch-on, with a wave of low pressure pushing temperatures down further in the coming days and bringing bad weather across the country.

The ‘Zone E’ designation, which means you can have your heating on from October 15th to April 15th for 14 hours a day, applies to the following provinces:

  • North-west: Alessandria; Aosta; Asti; Bergamo; Biella; Brescia; Como; Cremona; Lecco; Lodi; Milan; Novara; Padova; Pavia; Sondrio; Torino; Varese; Verbania; Vercelli.
  • North-east: Bologna; Bolzano; Ferrara; Gorizia; Modena; Parma; Piacenza; Pordenone; Ravenna; Reggio Emilia; Rimini; Rovigo; Treviso; Trieste; Udine; Venice; Verona; Vicenza.
  • Centre: Arezzo; Perugia; Frosinone; Rieti.
  • South: Campobasso; Enna; L’Aquila; Potenza.

Residents of Cuneo, Belluno and Trento, meanwhile, are in the colder ‘Zone F’, where no heating restrictions apply.

See the full list of zones here.


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