SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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

From a long-discussed bridge to a new energy aid package: here are the key events happening in Italy this week that you should know about.

Giorgia Meloni's cabinet will meet this week to discuss a new aid package.
Giorgia Meloni's cabinet will meet this week to discuss a new aid package. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Monday

Italy’s government will continue discussions over a new energy aid package on Monday, November 7th. While little has been confirmed so far, it is expected to extend many of the subsidies introduced under previous decrees.

READ ALSO: Key points: What we know about Italy’s next energy aid package

By Giorgia Meloni’s own admission, the new cabinet will only be able to allocate “a small amount of money” – between 7 and 10 billion euros according to the latest reports – to bring households and businesses across the country some respite from soaring energy prices.

This is set to be Italy’s fourth energy aid bill since the start of the European energy crisis.

Tuesday

The idea of building a bridge over the Strait of Messina that would connect Sicily to mainland Italy has been discussed for so long – and dismissed as unworkable so many times – that it’s a running joke among many political commentators in Italy.

But Matteo Salvini, leader of the hard-right League, appears to be taking the idea very seriously indeed and has made the project his top priority so far in his new role as infrastructure minister.

Official talks on building such a bridge will begin on Tuesday, November 8th, at which Salvini is set to meet the presidents of Calabria and Sicily in Rome. 

In his first week in office, he said on Twitter that he’s working “day and night” to give Italy and the rest of the world “the most eco-friendly feat of engineering” of modern times.

Political figures including members of the government, have already criticised the project as a “sort of mirage”.

There have been numerous plans throughout history to build a bridge over the the Strait of Messina; most recently Silvio Berlusconi’s government in the early 2000s secured partial funding from Brussels to finance a €6bn bridge, but construction work never started.

A long-discussed bridge over the Strait of Messina would connect Sicily to the Italian mainland.

A long-discussed bridge over the Strait of Messina would connect Sicily to the Italian mainland. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP.

Thursday

The first edition of the National University Festival will kick off on Thursday, November 10th at the Link Campus University in Rome.

The festival, which seeks to become an annual recurrence, will give students and professors alike a chance to reflect on Italy’s academic heritage and start developing new guidelines for the future of education. 

In particular, this year’s edition will focus on digital culture.

Saturday

A requiem in memory of all the victims of mafia crimes will be performed in Palermo’s Teatro Massimo on Saturday, November 12th. 

The event, which will be attended by Italy’s head of state Sergio Mattarella, will round off commemorations for the 30-year anniversary of the murder of anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

Organisers say the performance will be a chance to reflect on the role of art as a form of “collective response to mafia evils”.

Sunday

The 23rd edition of the International Alba White Truffle Auction will take place in the Castle of Grinzane Cavour in Cuneo, Piedmont on Sunday, November 13th. 

As usual, some of the best specimens of tuber magnatum, commonly known as white truffle, will be auctioned off to bidders, with all proceeds being devolved to national or international charities. 

The auction will be live-streamed on the Castle of Grinzane Cavour’s Facebook page. The event’s programme can be found here.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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

From public holidays to food festivals, 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 schools reopens – Primary schools will reopen in Ischia on Monday, just over a week after a deadly landslide that has so far claimed at least 11 lives led to evacuations and closures.

In a press conference on Saturday, Ischia commissioner Giovanni Legnini said that around one thousand of the island’s displaced residents were staying with friends and relatives, with over 400 more in hotels or independent accommodation.

High schools on the island are due to reopen on Wednesday.

Tuesday

Booking opens for Orient Express – Wealthy travellers looking for an Agatha Christie-style experience can book tickets for a ride on Italy’s new ‘La Dolce Vita’ Orient Express on Tuesday – a full two years before it sets off for the first time.

The train will reportedly have six different itineraries, from the Alps to the beaches of southern Italy, and incorporate 12 deluxe cabins, 18 suites, one La Dolce Vita suite, and a restaurant with 5-star service.

Passengers wanting to make an advance booking will need to pay a €500 deposit, with tickets starting at €2,000 per night.

Italy will get its own Orient Express luxury train service - in two years' time.

Italy will get its own Orient Express luxury train service – in two years’ time. Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP.

Wednesday 

Day off in Milan – December 7th is a public holiday in Milan as residents commemorate their beloved patron saint, St Ambrose.

The annual Festa di Sant’Ambrogio gives residents an opportunity to catch up with family and friends and unofficially marks the start of the festive season in the northern metropolis.

READ ALSO: Why do Milan residents get a day off on December 7th?

On the day, families get together to celebrate in the best way known to Italians: with a big lunch, featuring local delicacies including Milanese-style risotto, mondeghili (meatballs) and rostin negàa (veal cutlets).

And the city has no shortage of events and activities to enjoy after the feast.

Thursday

National public holiday – Thursday, December 8th is a public holiday throughout Italy as residents celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which commemorates the conception of the Virgin Mary.

Most Italian families celebrate with a big lunch, and may hold firework displays or light bonfires outside. 

READ ALSO: Why is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception a holiday in Italy?

December 8th unofficially marks the beginning of the Christmas period, with most towns putting up their Christmas lights on the day and pretty much everything in the country – especially administration-related procedures – noticeably slowing down from this point on.

This means you might want to get any important paperwork done before December 8th, or else you may have to wait until January 6th, when the Italian holidays officially end.

Friday

Abruzzo truffle festival – The first edition of the Abruzzo International Truffle Fair is set to take place from 9th-11th December in the region’s capital, L’Aquila.

The festival will involve 42 stalls and more than 60 companies, and will incorporate truffle-based food trucks, entertainment, master classes and seminars.

The event will be held in L’Aquila’s in the park surrounding the city’s 16th century castle, close to the historic centre.

L'Aquila in Abruzzo will host its first international truffle fair on December 9th-11th.

L’Aquila in Abruzzo will host its first international truffle fair on December 9th-11th. Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP.

Saturday

Modena food festival – The 11th edition of the ‘Zampone and Cotechino Modena’ Festival returns to Modena’s Piazza Roma from 9th-11th December, after two years of pandemic cancellations and restrictions.

Students from some of Italy’s leading catering schools will compete to make the most mouthwatering dish, turning the square into an open-air kitchen. This one’s not for vegetarians: zampone and cotechino are types of spiced, slow-cooked pork.

Massimo Bottura, the owner-chef of Modena’s three-Michelin-star restaurant Osteria Francescana, has reportedly picked the 10 best recipes submitted by participating student-chefs and will lead the jury judging the competition.

Sunday

Trenitalia winter timetable – Italy’s main train operator Trenitalia switches to a winter timetable from Sunday, December 11th.

New features include an increase in the number of Frecciarossa Rome-Milan non-stop fast trains, double-decker carriages with a capacity of 900 passengers, and podcasts with guides to the passenger’s destination, the company announced.

SHOW COMMENTS