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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

What changes about life in Italy in June 2022

From relaxed travel rules to school holiday dates, here's what's in store for people in Italy this June.

People sit at a cafe terrace overlooking the sea on June 24, 2021 in Manarola, Cinque Terre National Park, near La Spezia, Northwestern Italy.
People sit at a cafe terrace overlooking the sea on June 24, 2021 in Manarola, Northwestern Italy. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP.

Italy to scrap all Covid travel rules from June 1st

Travel to Italy will now be restriction-free for the first time since March 2020.

Italy’s health ministry has confirmed that the remaining travel requirements will be scrapped as of June 1st.

The ordinance requiring travellers to show proof of coronavirus vaccination, recent recovery or a negative test result in order to enter Italy “will not be extended” when it expires on May 31st, the ministry said on Monday.

This is the last remaining Covid-related rule in place for travellers to Italy, after the requirement for arrivals to complete an EU digital passenger locator form (dPLF) was lifted on May 1st.

The end of Italy’s mask mandate?

Italy also plans to ease the remaining masking rules further from June 15th: from this date, the will no longer be required in cinemas, theatres, concert halls and indoor sports arenas – health situation permitting.

Italy’s health ministry is still debating whether or not to lift the mask mandate on public transport, and is expected decide shortly before June 15th based on the latest Covid data. For now, high-grade FFP2 masks are required on all public transport in Italy.

Surgical masks will continue to be needed on health and social care settings, and will likely be required in schools for everyone over the age of six until the end of the school year, including in exam settings.

READ ALSO: Will Italy scrap the last Covid restrictions on June 15th?

Bear in mind, though, that these are just national rules – local governments and individual organisations and businesses can still impose their own tighter restrictions.

Public holiday – and a long weekend for some

June 2nd is Italy’s Republic Day or Festa della Repubblica, a national holiday on which the country celebrates its foundation as a republic.

On this date in 1946, Italians voted in a referendum to abolish its monarchy, which had fallen out of favour due to its close alignment with Mussolini’s fascist regime.

This year’s Republic Day falls on a Thursday, which means many people in Italy will likely be taking the Friday off as well for a four-day ponte or ‘bridge’ long weekend break.

READ ALSO: Five things you should know about Italy’s Republic Day

People jump from rocks in Manarola, Cinque Terre. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP.

Referendum on justice system reform

On Sunday, June 12th, Italian citizens will go to the polls to vote in an important referendum on five proposed reforms to the country’s much-criticised justice system.

These include changes to rules around pre-trial detention, as well as the question of whether judges and prosecutors should be allowed to switch back and forth between the two roles during their career (as is currently the case).

Perhaps the most significant, however, is the proposal to repeal the Severino Law, which bars people who have received at least a two-year prison sentence from holding political office for six years. 

The reforms are part of a wider programme of changes to Italy’s tortuous judicial system. This is required by the European Commission to unlock billions of euros in the form of post-pandemic recovery funds.

The start of tax season

We’re sure you’ll be thrilled to hear that this month brings the first Italian tax deadlines of the year. Tax season begins with the IMU property tax deadline on June 16th for those who own a second home in the country.

Summer holidays begin

Italy’s schools all start their summer break in June, with kids on holiday until September.

The dates for the end of the school year vary by region, starting on June 4th (Emilia Romagna, Marche), and then June 8th (Abruzzo, Basilicata, Campania, Lazio, Lombardy, Molise, Piedmont, Sardinia, Val d’Aosta, Veneto), June 9th (Calabria, Puglia, Umbria), June 10th (Liguria, Sicily, the autonomous province of Trento, Tuscany), June 11th (Friuli Venezia Giulia), and June 16th (the autonomous province of Bolzano).

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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week

From public holidays to food festivals, here are the key events happening in Italy this week that you should know about.

On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week

Monday

Ischia schools reopens – Primary schools will reopen in Ischia on Monday, just over a week after a deadly landslide that has so far claimed at least 11 lives led to evacuations and closures.

In a press conference on Saturday, Ischia commissioner Giovanni Legnini said that around one thousand of the island’s displaced residents were staying with friends and relatives, with over 400 more in hotels or independent accommodation.

High schools on the island are due to reopen on Wednesday.

Tuesday

Booking opens for Orient Express – Wealthy travellers looking for an Agatha Christie-style experience can book tickets for a ride on Italy’s new ‘La Dolce Vita’ Orient Express on Tuesday – a full two years before it sets off for the first time.

The train will reportedly have six different itineraries, from the Alps to the beaches of southern Italy, and incorporate 12 deluxe cabins, 18 suites, one La Dolce Vita suite, and a restaurant with 5-star service.

Passengers wanting to make an advance booking will need to pay a €500 deposit, with tickets starting at €2,000 per night.

Italy will get its own Orient Express luxury train service - in two years' time.

Italy will get its own Orient Express luxury train service – in two years’ time. Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP.

Wednesday 

Day off in Milan – December 7th is a public holiday in Milan as residents commemorate their beloved patron saint, St Ambrose.

The annual Festa di Sant’Ambrogio gives residents an opportunity to catch up with family and friends and unofficially marks the start of the festive season in the northern metropolis.

READ ALSO: Why do Milan residents get a day off on December 7th?

On the day, families get together to celebrate in the best way known to Italians: with a big lunch, featuring local delicacies including Milanese-style risotto, mondeghili (meatballs) and rostin negàa (veal cutlets).

And the city has no shortage of events and activities to enjoy after the feast.

Thursday

National public holiday – Thursday, December 8th is a public holiday throughout Italy as residents celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which commemorates the conception of the Virgin Mary.

Most Italian families celebrate with a big lunch, and may hold firework displays or light bonfires outside. 

READ ALSO: Why is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception a holiday in Italy?

December 8th unofficially marks the beginning of the Christmas period, with most towns putting up their Christmas lights on the day and pretty much everything in the country – especially administration-related procedures – noticeably slowing down from this point on.

This means you might want to get any important paperwork done before December 8th, or else you may have to wait until January 6th, when the Italian holidays officially end.

Friday

Abruzzo truffle festival – The first edition of the Abruzzo International Truffle Fair is set to take place from 9th-11th December in the region’s capital, L’Aquila.

The festival will involve 42 stalls and more than 60 companies, and will incorporate truffle-based food trucks, entertainment, master classes and seminars.

The event will be held in L’Aquila’s in the park surrounding the city’s 16th century castle, close to the historic centre.

L'Aquila in Abruzzo will host its first international truffle fair on December 9th-11th.

L’Aquila in Abruzzo will host its first international truffle fair on December 9th-11th. Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP.

Saturday

Modena food festival – The 11th edition of the ‘Zampone and Cotechino Modena’ Festival returns to Modena’s Piazza Roma from 9th-11th December, after two years of pandemic cancellations and restrictions.

Students from some of Italy’s leading catering schools will compete to make the most mouthwatering dish, turning the square into an open-air kitchen. This one’s not for vegetarians: zampone and cotechino are types of spiced, slow-cooked pork.

Massimo Bottura, the owner-chef of Modena’s three-Michelin-star restaurant Osteria Francescana, has reportedly picked the 10 best recipes submitted by participating student-chefs and will lead the jury judging the competition.

Sunday

Trenitalia winter timetable – Italy’s main train operator Trenitalia switches to a winter timetable from Sunday, December 11th.

New features include an increase in the number of Frecciarossa Rome-Milan non-stop fast trains, double-decker carriages with a capacity of 900 passengers, and podcasts with guides to the passenger’s destination, the company announced.

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