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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.