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What changes about life in Italy in July 2023

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What changes about life in Italy in July 2023
Rome's Pantheon will introduce an entry fee from July. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP.

From transport strikes to thunderstorms and a Pantheon entry fee, here’s what to expect in Italy over the coming month.


Rome’s Pantheon starts charging for entry

The Pantheon, one of Rome’s oldest and most iconic monuments, will start charging visitors an entry fee from July 3rd. Admission will cost €5 but Rome residents will still be able to access the site for free, as will under-18s and people in other categories

The controversial move to charge for entry came last March as part of culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano’s push for Italian tourist attractions to start charging for access or to hike their ticket prices.

READ ALSO: Italy's Pantheon entry fee: Who has to pay, how much and when

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

ITA Airways launches new San Francisco-Rome route

Italy’s flag carrier ITA Airways will officially inaugurate a new route linking San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport on Saturday, July 1st. 

READ ALSO: Trains and planes: Italy's new international travel routes in 2023

The airline will operate three direct flights from San Francisco to Rome and three direct flights in the opposite direction every week from the start of July until the end of the month. The number of weekly flights in both directions will then increase to five from August 2nd to October 28th. Flight time will be around 12 hours and 40 minutes in either direction, with one-way tickets ranging from 800 to 1,200 euros at the time of writing.

The upcoming opening of the San Francisco-Rome route is part of ITA Airways' plan to expand its network across the pond, with the airline launching another US route – Rome Fiumicino to Washington Dulles and vice versa – in early June.

Italy’s flag carrier, ITA Airways, is set to open a new direct route between Rome and San Francisco in July. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP.

Opening of 'historic' cable car route over the Italy-Switzerland border

The Matterhorn Alpine Crossing – a new cable car service connecting the Klein Matterhorn peak in the Swiss Valais canton to Aosta Valley's Testa Grigia station – will open on Saturday, July 1st. 


Standing some 3,800 metres above sea level, the new cableway route will be the highest continuous border crossing in the Alps, allowing for the first time ever for travel without skis from Zermatt (Switzerland) to Cervinia (Italy) and vice versa. 

Already hailed as a "historic step" for local tourism by industry operators, the 60-million-euro project will reportedly be operative for 11 months a year, with one month destined for maintenance work. Ticket prices will not suit every pocket though, with a round trip costing some 240 francs (around 246 euros). 

Start of summer sales

For all Italian regions except the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano, this year’s summer sales will start on Thursday, July 6th. 

The saldi estivi are by far the favourite time of the year for shoppers as businesses all around the country apply generous discounts to their merchandise (from 20 to 50 to 70 percent in some cases).

READ ALSO: 13 ways to make your life in Italy easier without really trying

Italy’s summer sales generally last a couple of months, but the exact end dates vary from region to region. You can find those in the following article.


Trial of new national emergency system continues

Following trials in Tuscany and Sardinia in June, IT-Alert – a new nationwide alert system set up to warn people of emergencies and potential dangers in their area – will be tested in Sicily (July 5th), Calabria (July 7th) and Emilia-Romagna (July 10th). 

Italy's rollout of a nationwide emergency text alert system will continue in July. Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP.

As part of the trial, mobile phones in the above-mentioned regions will receive a text message from Italy’s civil protection agency, with the devices emitting a tone “different from usual ringtones” upon reception. 

IT-Alert is currently expected to be implemented at a national level at some point in 2024. Once operative, the system will warn the public of imminent or ongoing emergencies – anything from volcanic activity to very intense rainfall – through a text alert, which will include info on the relevant event as well as any “self-protection measures to be adopted immediately”.

Travel disruption

Airline, rail and public transport passengers are all set to face further travel disruption in July as Italian unions have already called a number of strikes for the coming weeks. 

Besides several local and regional walkouts, the following three national demonstrations are currently expected to cause the greatest amount of disruption to people in the country:

READ ALSO: CALENDAR: The Italian transport strikes to expect in summer 2023

  • Friday, July 7th: public transport staff strike affecting both surface and underground services
  • Thursday, July 13th: 23-hour train strike involving staff from national operator Trenitalia as well as private company Italo
  • Saturday, July 15th: 24-hour air traffic control staff strike 

At least three nationwide transport strikes are planned in Italy for July 2023. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP.

For further details about the above walkouts and how they may affect your travel plans, see our summer strike calendar


Stints of sizzling heat followed by violent rainstorms

According to the latest medium- to long-range forecasts, Italy is expected to experience very hot and humid conditions for the most part of July, with daytime temperatures in some areas possibly exceeding seasonal averages by 1.5 or even 2C. 

READ ALSO: No more 'dolce vita': How extreme weather could change Italian tourism forever

But, while the above developments may not come as a surprise, the usual July heat may be regularly ‘broken up’ by violent rain storms this year.

In fact, the coming weeks may be marked by conditions resembling those of a typically “tropical” weather, according to meteorologist Lorenzo Tedici from Italian weather site IlMeteo.

Many parts of Italy can expect 'tropical' weather this July. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP.

These forecasts have already raised concerns that Italy may once again experience extreme weather events after flooding left large sections of the northeastern Emilia Romagna region devastated last May.

Special evening openings of national heritage sites  

From villas and manors to castles and abbeys, a number of attractions around the country will be open outside of normal opening hours this month as part of the Italian National Trust’s Sere d’Estate (‘Summer Evenings’) initiative.


Artistic gems such as Milan’s Necchi-Campiglio Villa, Venice’s Olivetti showroom and the beautiful Kolymbethra Garden in Agrigento, Sicily will be just some of the attractions letting visitors in after sundown.

The Sere d'Estate project is set to run until early September.


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