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.
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.
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.