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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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

New traffic restrictions in Milan, railway strikes and protests over soaring bills: here are the key events in Italy that you should know about.

Milan, city centre.
New traffic laws will come into effect in Milan on Monday, with several classes of vehicles being banned from entering the city’s traffic-restricted area on weekdays. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Monday

New traffic restrictions in Milan – New traffic laws will come into effect in Milan starting from Monday, October 3rd, with several classes of vehicles being banned from entering the city’s traffic-restricted area (zona traffico limitato or ZTL) from 7.30am to 7.30pm on all weekdays.

The new ban, which Milan’s authorities have introduced in an effort to reduce emissions in the city centre, will apply to non-eco-friendly vehicles.

READ ALSO: ‘It takes time’: Foreign residents on what it’s really like to live in Milan

To find out whether your car will be able to enter Milan’s ZTL from Monday, please consult the Comune di Milano website.

Modena Cento Ore – The first leg of the Modena Cento Ore (Modena 100 hours), one of Italy’s most anticipated vintage car meets, will start on Monday, October 3rd, in Milano Marittima, Emilia-Romagna. 

As usual, the five-day festival, which is currently in its 22nd edition, will offer classic car enthusiasts a rich events programme, including city parades, road trips across some of Italy’s most fascinating countryside landscapes and races on legendary circuits such as Misano and Mugello. 

The Modena Cento Ore’s full programme is available here, whereas the application form to take part in the event can be downloaded here

Tuesday

Fourth-dose bookings in Tuscany – On Tuesday, October 4th bookings to receive the second booster shot (also known as ‘fourth dose’) against Covid will be extended to all Tuscany residents above the age of 12.

A patient being administered a Covid jab.

After a recent uptick in infections, Tuscany will now offer the second booster shot (or fourth dose) to all residents over the age of 12. Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP

So far, the second booster shot has only been offered to healthcare workers, at-risk individuals and over-60s. 

READ ALSO: Italy eases Covid measures ahead of new government

But, given the recent uptick in infections across the region, Tuscany’s president, Eugenio Giano, has chosen to extend the vaccination campaign to the rest of the resident population except for children under 12.

Thursday

PD’s board meets after election defeat – The Italian Democratic Party’s board will convene on Thursday, October 6th to officially start discussions over the new party leadership.

The PD suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Italy’s right-wing coalition in the September 25th elections, where they received only 19 percent of votes.

READ ALSO: Italy’s Meloni begins tricky government talks after election win

Following the vote, PD leader Enrico Letta – who’s since been identified by many as the main responsible for his party’s election debacle – announced that he would not stand for leadership at the party’s next congress in March and would step down once a new capogruppo was found.

Weekend

Railway strike in Lombardy – Staff from railway company Trenord will hold a 24-hour strike between 9pm on Saturday, October 8th and 9pm on Sunday, October 9th, with delays and/or cancellations expected to affect railway travel across the northern region of Lombardy. 

Empty railway station in Lombardy.

Staff from railway company Trenord will strike from 9pm on Saturday to 9pm on Sunday. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

According to the Italian Transport Ministry (MIT), the strike should only affect train services in Lombardy, though disruption to travel in surrounding regions cannot be ruled out at this time. 

On the day of strike, Trenord will not guarantee any minimum services except for trains headed for Milan’s Malpensa Airport, which, Trenord said, “in the event of cancellations, might be replaced by coaches”. 

New demonstration against energy bills surge – Members of Emilia-Romagna’s grassroots organisation Noi Non Paghiamo (‘we are not paying’) will take to the streets of Bologna on Saturday, October 8th to protest against the increase in gas and electricity bills of the past few months.

READ ALSO: Electricity bills in Italy to rise by 59 percent, says energy regulator

The group, which was born in early September after the Don’t Pay campaign gained momentum in the UK, has already engaged in a number of public demonstrations. 

Last Saturday, members of Noi Non Paghiamo gathered in front of the headquarters of national energy company ENI in Bologna and burned dozens of energy bills in a waste bin.

“It’ll be a long winter […] and it’s past time we all joined together,” the group wrote on their Telegram account after the demonstration.

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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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