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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.

Italian parliament
Italy’s new budget law is expected to be finalised by cabinet ministers on Monday. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

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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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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

From food sampling in Florence to Venice Carnival’s flagship event, here’s what to expect in Italy this week.

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

Monday

Tasting experiences in Florence 

Monday, February 6th is the last day of Fuori di Taste, a city-wide food and drinks fair currently in its 16th instalment. 

The evening will start off at Harry’s Bar with tastings of where gin-makers will offer a sample of their best locally sourced creations.

The “journey through taste” will continue at the Vetreria Restaurant, where fusion cuisine will merge Florentine dishes with Latin American classics.

The evening will end at the Stellar Restaurant, where customers will be able to sample the famous Savini Tartufi truffles. 

The first two events are free, whereas tickets to the last one are 60 euros per person.

Tuesday

Sanremo music festival

The 73rd edition of Italy’s most famous song competition, the Sanremo music festival, will start on Tuesday, February 7th. 

Held in the Ligurian seaside city of the same name, the Sanremo festival will see 25 artists battle it out for the top spot over five nights, with the winner being crowned on Saturday, February 11th.

READ ALSO: Why is the Sanremo music festival so important to Italians?

Though its appeal might not be immediately obvious to outsiders, the show is a cornerstone of Italian popular culture and most locals wouldn’t swap il festival for any other TV programme in the world. 

Thursday

  • European Council meeting on migrant crisis

European leaders including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will meet on Thursday, February 9th to start work on a common plan of action over the migrant crisis. 

Since it came to power with a strongly anti-migration stance, the Italian government has been demanding changes to the EU-wide approach to managing migration.

The meeting comes after more deaths were reported off Sicily last week, and Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner urged Italy’s government to scrap or rewrite a new anti-immigration decree that takes aim at charity rescue vessels operating in the central Mediterranean.

  • Train strike in Lombardy

Staff from the Lombardy region’s Trenord will take part in a 22-hour strike, from 2am to 11.50pm, on Thursday, February 9th.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

It’s currently unclear how widespread the disruption will be or whether Trenord will operate minimum services on the day. See the company’s website for further information. 

Friday

Venice Carnival’s flagship event begins

After three years of toned-down celebrations, Venice’s famous Carnival is finally set to return to its former splendour.

Original Signs, the main event of this year’s edition, will begin at 6.30pm on Friday, February 10th at the iconic Venetian Arsenal, the former seat of the Venetian navy.

Tickets to the show can be bought here.

READ ALSO: Venice Carnival: What to expect if you’re attending in 2023

Circular fashion fair in Milan

Lombardy’s capital will hold a two-day sustainable fashion event 

Over 80 businesses, from start-ups to major brands, will take part in the fair, which includes exhibitions, art performances, seminars and workshops promoting the circular economy as an essential model to tackle global waste and climate change. 

The event, promoted and sponsored by Milan’s city council, will take place at BASE Milano. The full programme is available here.

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