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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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

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.

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

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.

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)

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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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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

From a new budget law to Thanksgiving celebrations and Black Friday deals: 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

Italy’s 2023 budget law – Italy’s new budget law (legge di bilancio) is expected to be finalised by cabinet ministers on Monday, November 21st. 

According to the latest available indications, the bill will include measures worth between 30 and 32 billion euros. 

Though the exact contents of the new budget law haven’t been fully disclosed yet, the decree is expected to raise the cash payment ceiling to 5,000 euros, make radical changes to Italy’s benefits payments system (known as Reddito di Cittadinanza) and bring in a new pension system, thus scrapping the controversial Fornero Law.

Once green-lighted by all cabinet ministers, the bill will be sent to parliament for approval.

Festa della Salute in Venice – Venice residents will celebrate the popular Festa della Madonna della Salute (Festival of Our Lady of Good Health) on Monday.

Venice's Basilica della Madonna della Salute

Venice residents celebrate the popular Festival of Our Lady of Good Health on November 21st. Photo by Andrea PATTARO / AFP

The festival dates back to 1631, when, according to local tradition, the Virgin Mary put an end to a devastating plague that was ultimately responsible for the death of as many as 47,000 residents.

READ ALSO: TRAVEL: Why Venice is named among Europe’s cheapest city break destinations

For the occasion, a temporary floating wooden bridge will be constructed to allow locals to cross the Grand Canal on foot and give thanks to the Madonna in the church named after her.

Tuesday

Bad weather across the country – A spell of bad weather is expected to hit Italy on Tuesday, November 22nd. 

According to the latest weather forecasts, the whole country will be affected by adverse weather conditions, with heavy downpours and high winds expected in the centre and south of the boot, especially on the Tyrrhenian front.

Eastern Alps residents might also see some generous snowfalls during the day.

Thursday

Thanksgiving in Italy – American nationals will celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24th.

Though locals do not engage in Thanksgiving celebrations, Americans living in the Bel pease still have a number of options available to them to avoid missing out on their favourite national holiday.

Turkey being carved

Though Italians don’t engage in Thanksgiving celebrations, Americans living in Italy can still celebrate their favourite national holiday in a number of ways. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Most major cities in Italy have restaurants offering Thanksgiving-themed dinners and venues holding parties for the occasion. A list of confirmed events is available here.

READ ALSO: Where can you celebrate Thanksgiving in Italy this year?

That said, should you not be able to find what you’re looking for, remember that, with a little effort, it’s perfectly possible to create your own authentic Thanksgiving at home.

Here’s our guide on the topic.

Friday

Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – Friday, November 25th will be the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Global commemorations fall on November 25th every year to honour the memory of the Mirabal sisters, three Dominican political activists who were brutally murdered by order of dictator Rafael Trujillo in November 1960.

For the occasion, a number of initiatives – from photographic shows to seminars – will take place across Italy. Some can be found here.

The national hotline for victims of abuse is 1522. It’s free of charge and available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Further info can be found here.

EU talks on migrant crisis – EU interior ministers will address the current migrant crisis on Friday, November 25th.

The meeting had been originally scheduled for December 8th but it was brought forward at the end of last week after Italy and France clashed over the arrival of migrants rescued at sea.

READ ALSO: Why are France and Italy rowing over migrants and what are the consequences?

On the day, ministers will try to reach an agreement over rescue operations and relocation strategies, with Italy said to be “willing to contribute” to the creation of an EU-wide response plan.

Italy’s Black Friday – This year’s Black Friday will fall on November 25th. 

As always, nearly all large Italian retailers will apply generous deals to their merchandise, with discounts being available both online and in physical stores across the country. 

Seller putting up a Black Friday banner

Most Italian retailers will offer generous discounts on this year’s Black Friday. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

So, if you’re thinking of treating yourself to some retail therapy, here’s a list of all the retailers taking part in this year’s Black Friday and a brief overview of their main deals.

Weekend

Sparkling wine festival in Rome – Sparkleday, one of Rome’s most highly anticipated wine-tasting events, will take place on Saturday, November 26th at the Parco dei Principi hotel.

Organised by popular magazine Cucina & Vini, the event will allow wine buffs to sample some of Italy’s best sparkling wine bottles while snacking on cured meats and pastries.

You can follow the event’s Facebook page for further info. Tickets are available here.

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