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.

Milan's popular Christmas market will open on December 1st.
Milan's popular Christmas market will open on December 1st. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP.


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 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.


Free museum Sunday – People across Italy will be able to visit museums for free once again this Sunday, December 4th, under the nationwide Domenica al Museo or ‘free museum Sundays’ scheme allowing ticketless entry on the first Sunday of every month.

Find out more about how it works here.

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.

Member comments

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


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

From new rail links to a gas station strike, here's what to expect in Italy this week.

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

Monday 23rd

PM Meloni in Algeria for energy talks

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is in Algeria on Monday for a meeting with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, reportedly to discuss further increasing gas exports to Italy amid efforts to reduce energy dependence on Russia.

Meloni’s predecessor Mario Draghi sealed a series of deals with Tebboune in July, including an oil and gas production-sharing agreement between Algeria and energy companies including Italian giant Eni.

Algeria, which has an undersea pipeline to Italy, is Africa’s biggest gas exporter.

‘Fastest-ever’ Rome-Milan rail link opens

On Monday, Trenitalia’s new non-stop rail service will begin carrying passengers between Rome’s Tiburtina station and Milan Rogoredo in record time.

“Rome and Milan will be connected in 2 hours and 45 minutes with Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa,” the rail operator said in a statement. 

The journey takes 2 hours and 59 minutes on the fastest connection available so far, which is between Rome Termini and Milan Central.

READ ALSO: The train routes connecting Italy to the rest of Europe in 2023

The new service will run to and from Milan once a day: the Frecciarossa 9682 will leave Rome at 5.30am and arrive at Milan at 8.15am, and the Frecciarossa 9681 will depart Milan at 20.44 arriving in Rome at 23.29.

The new connection does not stop at Rome Termini and Milan Central, a decision which Trenitalia said was intended to “reduce congestion” at the main stations.

Read more here.

Tuesday 24th

Gas station strike begins

Italy’s petrol station operators plan to strike for 48 hours starting at 7pm on January 24th, meaning many petrol stations, particularly along motorways, will not be manned and some may be closed altogether.

The strike will also affect self-service facilities, unions said at a press conference on Friday, but “the minimum level of essential services” will be available. Such strikes do not usually involve stations owned directly by oil companies.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this January 

The protests were called after the government brought in new rules for gas stations, which it said would improve the transparency of fuel prices and stop speculative hikes after prices soared at the beginning of January. The new rules mean stations must display the average national price of fuel alongside their rates.

Gas station operators deny that they are to blame for the recent steep price rises and demand the government scrap the new rules.

Italian motorists faced a spike in fuel prices again at the beginning of January. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)

Wednesday 25th

Weather to improve from midweek

Delayed wintry weather arrived last week across Italy, with northern regions in particular experiencing freezing temperatures, snow and icy conditions into the beginning of this week. The centre and southern regions have been hit instead by heavy rain, high winds, and thunderstorms in many areas.

The weather will improve somewhat from midweek, forecasts say, with rain easing off and temperatures rising slightly while remaining below the seasonal average in many areas.

Friday 27th

Holocaust Remembrance Day

From September 1943, German and Italian Fascist troops occupied central and northern Italy and deported around 9,000 Jewish people to Auschwitz or other camps, where most were killed in the gas chambers or died from disease and starvation.

Every year on January 27th, Holocaust memorial events are held across Italy to commemorate these mass murders.

READ ALSO: Four places to remember the Holocaust in Italy

This year’s events will include a special programme at 9pm on Rai 1 telling the story of Liliana Segre, the 92-year-old Italian senator for life and Holocaust survivor who was deported from Milan to Auschwitz along with her family.

Thursday 26th

First in a series of talks on feminism in Milan

Gender stereotypes, inclusive language, motherhood, the gender pay gap, gender-based violence and toxic relationships are some of the topics to be discussed – in Italian – at a series of meetings in Milan named ‘Chiacchierata femminista’ or ‘Feminist chat’.

The first meeting begins on Thursday with ‘Cara, sei maschilista?’ (‘Darling, are you a male chauvinist?’) a talk by author Karen Ricci on “dealing with internalised sexism”. Details and sign-up here.