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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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

Election results, end of face mask rules and airline staff strikes: here are the key events in Italy that you should know about.

People check the candidates list at a polling station on September 25, 2022 in Rome.
The official winners of Sunday’s general elections will be known and declared by Monday evening at the very latest. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Monday

Election results – As of Monday morning, the count was still in progress, but the centrodestra right-wing alliance led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy were poised to claim over 44 percent of the vote, making it the clear victor.

A more accurate overview of the election’s outcome was expected to emerge later on Monday but the centre-left Democratic Party, the coalition’s main rivals, had already conceded defeat, saying it was a “sad” day.

Turnout was said to have fallen to a historic low of around 64 percent, about nine points lower than the last elections, held in 2018.

READ ALSO: Giorgia Meloni’s far right triumphs in Italy vote

Tuesday

La Scala in Città – The second edition of La Scala in Città (La Scala in the City) will start on Tuesday, September 27th. 

The festival, organised by Milan’s world-renowned La Scala opera house, will bring a wealth of events to the northern city, with music and dance performances taking place in a number of exclusive urban locations.

Once again, the initiative’s objective will be to “find new spectators across the city and inspire children to engage in music or dance”. 

All events are free of charge, though previous booking is required. The festival’s calendar is available here.

Wednesday

Reform of welfare laws – A draft bill proposing to amend national welfare measures for non-self-sufficient elderly people might receive ministers’ seal of approval on Wednesday, September 28th. 

That would effectively start the bill’s legislative journey through parliament and mark the first step towards its enactment into law.  

An elderly care home resident walks with an employee.

A draft bill reforming national welfare measures for the elderly might receive ministers’ approval on Wednesday. Photo by Thierry ZOCCOLAN / AFP

The bill, which seeks to “strengthen” welfare policies by allocating greater funds to the support of elderly people and their families, is one of the many reforms required by Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza, or PNRR).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What’s changing under Italy’s post-pandemic recovery plan? 

The draft’s approval has already been postponed on multiple occasions, partly because of the political uncertainty that’s been lingering over the PNRR ever since the collapse of Draghi’s coalition government earlier in July.

Thursday

Strike at Bergamo’s Orio al Serio airport – Staff from handling company BGY International Services at Bergamo’s Orio al Serio airport will strike from 10am to 2pm on Thursday, September 29th. 

At the time of writing, the reasons behind the strike were not clear, though Italian unions had voiced workers’ concerns over “excessive workloads” during the summer.

Sadly, it also wasn’t clear whether the strike would affect airline travel from and to Bergamo’s airport during the day and, if so, in what measure.  

As always, passengers are advised to check the status of their flight before starting their journey.

I Primi d’Italia festival – One of Italy’s most anticipated culinary festivals, I Primi d’Italia (Italy’s First Courses), will return to Foligno, Umbria on Thursday. 

READ ALSO: Sagra: The best Italian food festivals to visit in September

Once again, the city’s centro storico will provide a picturesque backdrop to around 40 scheduled events ranging from wine tasting to cooking shows.

Chef Samuel Perico shows typical pasta dish "I Casoncelli" on June 16, 2020

Italy’s very own first courses festival will start on Thursday in Foligno, Umbria. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

This year’s festival will also host some illustrious names from the cooking world, including three-Michelin-star chef Mauro Uliassi.

Friday

End of face mask rules – As of Friday, September 30th, face masks will no longer be required on Italian public transport (buses, trains, trams, ferries, etc.). 

The mask mandate was originally meant to lapse on June 15th but it had been extended by outgoing health minister Roberto Speranza after an uptick in infections at the beginning of the summer.

Friday will also mark the end of mask-wearing requirements for those accessing healthcare facilities or care homes, whether they be visitors, patients or staff. 

Having said that, staff and visitors will still have to produce a valid ‘super green pass’ – i.e. a health pass certifying that the holder has been fully vaccinated against or has recovered from Covid-19 – to access the above-mentioned facilities.

Barring any extension, the ‘green pass’ mandate will expire on December 31st. 

Weekend

National airline staff strike – Pilots and cabin crew from Ryanair and Vueling will take part in a national strike action on Saturday, October 1st.

In particular, Ryanair staff will hold a 24-hour walkout, whereas Vueling staff will strike for a total of four hours, from 1pm to 5pm.

READ ALSO: Italian low-cost airline staff to strike on October 1st

At the time of writing it wasn’t yet clear how the strike would affect passengers, though significant delays or cancellations could not be ruled out. 

A Ryanair employee talks to a passenger at the check-in counters at the Terminal 2 of El Prat airport in Barcelona on July 1, 2022.

Ryanair pilots and cabin crew will take part in a 24-hour strike on Saturday, October 1st, likely causing disruption to air travel on the day. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

Italian trade unions Filt-Cgil and Uiltrasporti called the strike in protest against employers’ failure to “grant acceptable working conditions and wages that are in line with minimum national salaries”. 

Start of ski season – Aosta Valley’s ski season will officially start on Saturday, October 1st, when the popular Cervinia ski resort will open its doors to winter sports enthusiasts. 

This year, a daily ski pass in Cervinia will cost between 51 and 57 euro – it was between 47 and 53 last year. 

Aside from Cervinia’s early start, all the other ski resorts in the Aosta Valley region will open their doors to the public on November 26th provided that there is enough snow on their slopes.

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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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

Monday

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.

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

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

Thursday

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.

Friday

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.

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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.

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