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

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On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week
Rome's Pantheon will begin charging for entry for the first time this week as peak summer tourism season gets underway. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

From the announcement of new road safety rules to this year's first income tax deadline, here’s what to expect in Italy over the coming week.



New road safety laws proposed

A new draft bill tightening up Italy’s road safety rules is to be submitted to cabinet ministers on Tuesday, June 27th.

The bill’s proposals are expected to include radical changes to Italy’s Highway Code (Codice della Strada), as Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini pledged to introduce “more rules, more education, more safety on Italian roads” after the number of annual road deaths in the country rose again to 3,120 in 2022.

As well as introducing tougher penalties for drink driving, and introducing lifetime driving bans for those found guilty of certain serious crimes, Salvini’s bill will reportedly aim to make it mandatory for cyclists and scooter riders to wear helmets, fit their vehicles with licence plates and indicator lights and get an insurance policy - a suggestion that drew heavy criticism from cyclists’ associations.

READ ALSO: Is Italy really forcing cyclists to get insurance, number plates and indicators?


First trial of new national emergency alert system 

People in Tuscany will be the first to trial a new nationwide emergency alert system on Wednesday, June 28th, the regional authority has announced.

Residents will get a text from Italy’s civil protection agency as part of the first trial of IT-Alert, a new nationwide emergency alert system set up to warn people of emergencies and potential dangers in their area.

After Tuscany, the system will then be trialled in Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria and Emilia-Romagna.

A new nationwide emergency alert system will undergo its first trial in Tuscany, central Italy, this week. Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP

The system will “send all mobile phones in a specific geographic area a public alert via text”, which will include info on the event of interest as well as any “self-protection measures to be adopted immediately”, according to It-Alert’s website.


Importantly, even mobiles on silent mode will “emit an alert tone” upon receiving the text.

The rollout of a similar system in the UK in April sparked concerns about how alerts could impact victims of domestic abuse who rely on a hidden phone for communication.


Day off for Rome residents

Many Rome residents will enjoy a day off work on Thursday, June 29th, as the capital celebrates its patron saints, Peter and Paul. 

As it falls on a Thursday, this year’s Festa di San Pietro e Paolo will also mean many could choose to take Friday off as well and fare il ponte, or ‘do the bridge’, creating a four-day weekend.

The usual mix of city-wide religious and secular celebrations will take place on Thursday, with the traditional firework display over the city’s Pincian Hill being the highlight of the day.

Many people working in Rome will get an extra day off this week. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)


Income tax deadline

For most people, the first instalment of Italy’s personal (Irpef) and corporate (Ires and Irap) income taxes is due by Friday, June 30th.

Payment must be made through form F24. Italy’s tax office (Agenzia delle Entrate) offers guidance on how to fill out and submit the form.

READ ALSO: The Italian tax calendar for 2023: Which taxes are due when?

The deadline for the second instalment is November 30th.



Rome’s Pantheon starts charging for entry

This Saturday, the Pantheon, one of Rome’s oldest and most iconic monuments, will start charging visitors an entry fee for the first time.

Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano announced earlier in June that a €5 entry fee will come in from July 1st.

Rome residents will still be able to access the world-famous site for free, as will under-18s and people in several other categories, he confirmed.

The controversial move to charge for entry to the site came as part of Sangiuliano’s push for Italian tourist attractions to start charging for entry or to hike their ticket prices.

This was among the reasons why the cost of entry to Italy’s museums and cultural monuments has soared this summer.


Siena holds famous Palio horse race

The first of two historical pali (horse races) held in the Tuscan city of Siena every summer will take place on Sunday, July 2nd. 

The Palio di Provenzano will unfold in the city’s Piazza del Campo, a medieval square where ten jockeys and their randomly-assigned horses will compete for their city district (contrada).

The race starts at 7.30pm following a traditional parade, and attendance is free of charge - though get there early, as these events tend to become extremely crowded.


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