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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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
(Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

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.

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.

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.

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

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

From freezing weather to the start of Carnival celebrations, here's what to expect in Italy this week.

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

Monday

Colder weather on the way

Temperatures are expected to drop again in the coming days as a cold air front moves in from the north-east.

Below-zero temperatures are predicted for the north in particular, including in the cities of Milan, Turin and Bologna.

READ ALSO: Ten phrases to talk about cold and wet weather like a true Italian

Forecasts say the Alps and some sections of the Apennines could see snowstorms, while southern regions, including the islands, are expected to be hit by heavy rain.

Tuesday

New anti-waste app launches

There are various apps on the market tracking food waste and Italy is now set to have its own, as the Sprecometro app developed by the Waste Watcher International Observatory together with the University of Bologna will be launched on Tuesday, January 31st.

The free app aims to help reduce food waste, help develop more sustainable eating habits, and raise awareness of environmental impact.

Wednesday

Instalment plans for energy bills

Energy bills are stretching many household budgets in Italy as elsewhere this winter, but it’s possible to pay in instalments..

Energy provider Plenitude, a subsidiary of Italy’s oil giant Eni, offers interest-free payment plans to households and small businesses, and the window to sign up for 2023 opens on Wednesday, February 1st. Find information on Plenitude’s website.

Saturday

Carnival celebrations start in Venice and Viareggio

Though Carnival celebrations will peak in the six-day period between Thursday, February 16th (giovedì grasso) and Tuesday, February 21st (martedì grasso), Carnival-related events will officially start on Saturday, February 4th.

Venice’s famous Carnival will kick off celebrations with a floating parade along the Grand Canal while in Viareggio, Tuscany, the 2023 Carnival opening ceremony will be followed by a fireworks show.

Sunday

Italy faces France in Rome in Six Nations opener

Italy’s national rugby team will start their journey in the historic Six Nations Championship by facing title holders France in Rome on Sunday, February 5th. 

The game will be broadcast on both SkySport Italy and TV8 (channel eight on your TV set).

Those wishing to see the Azzurri in action from up close can get tickets for the Stadio Olimpico matchup here.

Free Museum Sunday

State museums and archaeological sites across Italy will allow free entrance on Sunday, February 5th as part of the monthly Domenica al Museo, known as ‘Free Museum Sundays’ in English, which is held on every first Sunday of the month. Read more here.

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