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


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



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”.


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.


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

From transport strikes to Christmas markets and the start of ski season, 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


Ischia rescue efforts continue – Rescue teams are continuing their search for survivors after an avalanche on the island of Ischia left at least seven people dead, with more missing.

A wave of mud and debris hit the small town of Casamicciola Terme early Saturday morning, engulfing at least one house and sweeping cars down to the sea.

READ ALSO: Italy declares state of emergency after deadly Ischia landslide

Italy’s government on Sunday declared a state of emergency and released an initial €2 million in relief funds.


Ruling on vaccine mandates – Italy’s Constitutional Court will rule on the legality of compulsory vaccination against Covid-19 on Tuesday, November 29th.

Judges will be asked to determine whether or not vaccine mandates introduced during the pandemic – which applied to healthcare and school staff as well as over-50s – breached the fundamental rights set out by Italy’s constitution.

Several Italian courts have previously upheld the vaccine oblication, with one Lazio court ruling in March 2022 saying the question of constitutional compatibility was “manifestly unfounded”.

Members of Italy's Constitutional Court will meet on Tuesday to determine whether Italy's Covid vaccine mandate was constitutional.

Members of Italy’s Constitutional Court will meet on Tuesday to determine whether Italy’s Covid vaccine mandates were constitutional. Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP.


Italy’s budget deadline – The Italian government has until Wednesday, November 30th to send the text of the 2023 budget law to Brussels for scrutiny.

Once greenlighted by the EU Commission, the bill will go back to parliament, with both chambers having until December 31st to sign off on it.

READ ALSO: Key points: What Italy’s new budget law means for you


Milan’s Christmas market – One of Italy’s most popular Christmas markets will open on Thursday, December 1st.

Stalls in Milan’s iconic Piazza Duomo will be open every day from 9am to 9pm until January 6th. Businesses will be selling everything from Christmas decorations to regional food delicacies.

Milan’s isn’t the only Christmas market in Italy to open on this date; those hosted by Cagliari in Sardinia and Andalo in the Dolomites will also kick off on Thursday.

People walk across a Christmas market in downtown Milan as snow falls on December 8, 2021.

People walk across a Christmas market in downtown Milan as snow falls on December 8, 2021. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP.


National transport strike – A 24-hour national strike affecting airline and rail travel as well as local public transport will take place on Friday, December 2nd, likely creating some disruption for people travelling to, from and across Italy.

Staff from Spanish airline Vueling and local public transport operators in the Italian cities of Udine, Trieste, La Spezia, Naples, Foggia and Bari have already announced that they will take part in the strike.

According to the latest local media reports, disruption might also affect travel on Milan’s ATM lines. 

As always, The Local will keep you regularly updated on the strike over the following days.


Ski resorts open – All ski resorts managed by the popular Dolomiti Superski association will open on Saturday, December 3rd, offering winter sport enthusiasts a total of 1,200 kilometres of ski slopes. 

Despite early fears that an unusually warm November would force operators to postpone the opening date, the resorts are now expected to regularly open to the public on Saturday thanks to the rigid temperatures of the past week.

Italy's Alpine Dolomiti Superski resorts will Saturday, December 3rd.

Italy’s Alpine Dolomiti Superski resorts will Saturday, December 3rd. Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP.


WW2 bomb disposal – Around 900 residents of the eastern Italian city of Pesaro will be asked to temporarily evacuate their homes on Sunday, December 4th to allow for the safe disposal of a 500-kg US-made World War II bomb.

The device is located in the Case Bruciate area, next to the A14 highway.

A hotline will be set up in the following days to give residents all the necessary info. 

The closure of the A14 highway on the day is being considered by local authorities.