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What does Italy’s general strike on Friday mean for travel?

As Italian trade unions have called a general strike on Friday, here's a look at how travel within the country will be affected.

What does Italy's general strike on Friday mean for travel?
Passengers walk past a Frecciarossa high-speed train run by Italian national train operator, Trenitalia, Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

Italian unions have called a nationwide general strike for the entire working day on Friday, April 22nd, which could mean some disruption for passengers on some flights, trains and ferry routes as people begin the long weekend ahead of Liberation Day, according to Italian news reports.

However, this time, a low number of participating trade union members in the transport sector is expected to mean there will be little or no disruption to the majority of transport services.

Local public transport services, such as city buses and trams, are not likely to be affected in any major city, according to operators.

Italy also guarantees the operation of a minimum number of public transport services in the event of a strike on weekdays from 6 to 9am and from 6 to 9pm, as well as flights between 7 and 10am, and 6 to 9pm.

Flights are reportedly operating normally at airports around Italy on Friday morning, however Milan’s Linate airport may see some disruption due to a four-hour strike by ground support staff in the afternoon, between noon and 4pm.

For interregional trains, national operator Trenitalia confirmed in a statement on its website that a 24-hour national strike had been called by staff, but said that it does not expect Intercity services or high-speed Frecce trains to be affected.

Passengers are in any case advised to check the latest updates before setting off, as Trenitalia warned: “Trade union unrest can lead to changes to the service even before the start and after the conclusion [of the strike action]”.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about train travel in Italy

Northern regional rail operator Trenord similarly stated: “Considering the membership data in similar previous strike announcements, no interruptions to railway traffic in Lombardy are expected.”

“On the other hand, there may be sporadic cancellations of trains which will be promptly communicated.”

“We therefore recommend, before setting off, to check traffic in real-time on the Trenord app. At the station, pay attention to the monitors an announcements.”

Those travelling by road or ferry on Friday are also advised by operators to check for updates before setting off.

Some localised traffic disruption and road closures can be expected in central Rome on Friday due to a demonstration by trade unions planned to start at 2pm in the central Piazza della Repubblica.

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TRAVEL NEWS

What does Italy’s general strike on Friday mean for travel?

Italian trade unions have called a nationwide general strike for Friday, May 20th. Here's a look at how travel within the country will be affected.

What does Italy’s general strike on Friday mean for travel?

The strike has been organised by a range of national and regional trade unions representing various sectors in protest at the Italian government’s spending on the Ukraine war.

Union leaders say the funds should be targeted instead at increasing workers’ wages and, in turn, families’ purchasing power.

Walter Montagnoli, national secretary of the CUB union, told SkyTG24: “The conflict needs to be stopped. […] Draghi’s government is taking military expenses to 2 percent of our GDP: national defence expenses will go from 25 to 38 billion euros, thus reducing the budget for healthcare, education, public transport, the construction industry and, naturally, pensions and wages.”

Demonstrations are set to take place in cities across Italy, including in Milan, Rome, Messina, Palermo, Catania, Cagliari, Turin, Bologna, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Turin, Genoa, La Spezia, Reggio Emilia, Trieste, Bergamo and Taranto, according to media reports.

Strike action is otherwise expected to focus on the transport sector, meaning some disruption to travel plans is likely – depending on where you are in Italy and what time you’ll be travelling.

Here’s a look at what you should know before setting out on your journey on Friday. 

Train services 

Railroad services will be affected for a period of 24 hours, from 9pm on Thursday to 9pm on Friday.

However, Trenitalia has already communicated that Freccia and Intercity trains will run regularly and essential regional services will be guaranteed in the following time frames: 6am to 9am and 6pm to 9pm.

If you’re travelling with Italo, the company has published a list of its guaranteed services on its website

Local public transport 

Local public transport including buses, trams and metro trains in Italian towns and cities will also be affected by the strike action, but the magnitude of disruption to regular services will depend largely upon the area.

Rome and Milan will likely be the most affected cities.

In Milan, metro trains will run regularly until at least 6pm, whereas buses and tram services may be affected between 8.45am and 3pm and after 6pm.

In the capital, local transport providers ATAC and TPL said services will operate normally before 8.30am and from 5pm to 8pm.

If you’ll be commuting, you’re advised to consult the website of your local transport provider before setting off.

Flights

The ENAC (Italian Civil Aviation Authority) confirmed that all flights between 7am and 10am and between 6pm and 9pm will operate as normal.

However, they strongly suggest that travellers contact their airline to check the status of their flight before leaving for the airport.

See ENAC’s website for further information.

Travelling by car

Travelling by car might also be fairly problematic (or more problematic than it usually is) as motorway toll booth staff are set to strike from 10pm on Thursday to 10pm on Friday.

While the impact may differ from one part of the country to another, this is likely to mean a smaller number of toll booths are open and, as a result, lines at some motorway entrances will be longer than usual.

Drivers are advised to consult motorway operator Autostrade per l’Italia’s traffic map for real-time updates.

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