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

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On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week
Households and business owners in Italy are waiting to find out this week how hard energy prices rises will hit. Photo by ERIC CABANIS / AFP

Back to school, energy saving measures, and the last summer events: here are the key events in Italy this week that you should know about.

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Monday: 

Back to school (in some regions) 

Italy’s schools are managed by regional authorities, so the return dates vary according to region. 

This year, the first classes restart on Monday, September 5th in the northern autonomous province of Bolzano, and in Trentino Alto Adige for kindergarten.

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Pupils in the rest of Italy’s regions return on the 12th or 14th, except for Sicily and Valle d’Aosta, where schools don’t go back until the 19th.

Italy to approve new Covid vaccines for Omicron variants

Italy’s medicines regulator Aifa is expected to approve new dual-strain Covid vaccines for use in Italy on Monday.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light on Friday to two new vaccines designed to protect against both the original strain of the virus and new Omicron variants.

While outgoing health minister Roberto Speranza has said a new autumn vaccination drive would begin in September, no firm plans have yet been published.

READ ALSO: What changes about life in Italy in September 2022

Photo by Pascal POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP

Tuesday:

Funding available for new business ventures

From Tuesday, September 6th, applications open for the Fondo Imprese Creative: government funding for new small, medium or micro-businesses.

There’s a total of €9.6 million available from a fund managed by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Culture

Invitalia, Italy’s national agency for attracting investment, says companies in any sector will be able to apply via its website.

It says the fund is available to firms planning specific projects including “technological innovation in conservation” and “use and marketing of products of a particular artisan, artistic and creative value”.

Friday:

Energy decree expected

Italy is awaiting an emergency decree detailing extended aid measures to help households and businesses pay the bills this winter.

This is expected to be signed off by Friday, as European energy ministers will hold a summit on measures to control soaring electricity prices.

The government is also bringing forward and extending an energy-saving plan aimed at cutting the nation’s power consumption amid concerns about energy security.

(Photo by Daniel ROLAND / AFP)

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These plans were initially due to be published by Wednesday, August 31st – when Russia’s Gazprom closed the Nord Stream gas pipeline to Europe, purportedly for maintenance. 

With the shutoff now prolonged, the government is preparing contingency plans for three different possible scenarios this winter, including a worst-case scenario in which Russia cuts off the gas supply altogether – though this is believed to be very unlikely to happen, according to Italian media reports.

Very little has been confirmed about Italy's energy-saving plans so far, though the government is expected to ask the public to turn down the central heating and use it for shorter periods of time this winter, as an initial measure.

Italy's existing limits on using central heating in winter are expected to be tightened.

For now, local councils and regional authorities are going ahead with bringing in their own energy-saving measures. Milan, for example, is considering keeping shop windows dark at night and switching off streetlamps earlier.

Naples' royal palace visit

Friday, September 9th, is your last chance this summer to visit Naples’ Palazzo Reale in the evening for Venerdì a Palazzo (Friday at the Palace). Find out more here.

Weekend:

Venice Film Festival ends

The ten-day festival will close on Saturday September 10th, when the winners of the Lions and other official prizes of the 79th Venice Film Festival will be announced at a ceremony hosted by actress and presenter Rocío Muñoz Morales.

The 79th Venice Film Festival is one of the main events taking place in Italy this week. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

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