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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
A new section of the M4 metro line will open on Tuesday, connecting Linate Airport directly with San Babila station, in central Milan. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

From a new metro route linking Linate Airport to central Milan to a 24-hour nationwide public transport strike, here’s what to expect in Italy this week.

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First supermoon of the year

The first of four ‘supermoons’ we can look forward to this year will appear in the night sky on Monday, July 3rd.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with perigee - the point in the moon's orbit when it comes closest to the Earth - making it appear larger and brighter than usual.

Monday’s supermoon will reach its maximum point at 12.39am but will be visible in the sky right after sunset in clear sky conditions. 

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 Monday.

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. 

READ ALSO: TRAVEL: How to visit the Pantheon in Rome

Rome's Pantheon

Tourists cool off at a fountain in front of Rome's Pantheon monument, which will start charging for entry this week. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

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.

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

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Airline companies summoned over air travel prices

Representatives from four as yet unidentified airline companies will meet with price surveillance guarantor Benedetto Mineo on Tuesday, July 4th, as the government investigates speculation claims over a recent spike in airline ticket prices.

The meeting was called last Saturday after data from the National Institute of Statistics (Istat) showed that the price of domestic flights in the first half of 2023 rose by 43.2 percent compared to the same period of last year.

The meeting will be reportedly followed by the creation of a special commission aimed at monitoring air travel prices around the country. 

From Linate Airport to central Milan in under 14 minutes 

A new stretch of Milan’s M4 metro line will officially open to the public on Tuesday, linking Linate Airport to the central San Babila station, which sits roughly 8 minutes away from the Duomo on foot. 

Metro train in Milan

A new stretch of the M4 metro line will allow people to go from Linate Airport to central Milan in under 14 minutes. Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP

To the delight of international visitors, the journey from the airport to downtown Milan will reportedly clock in at just 14 minutes.

READ ALSO: Why are flights to and from Italy so expensive this summer?

Further work on the M4 line will be carried out through the remainder of 2023, with all of its 21 planned stops currently expected to be functional by October 2024. 

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Once operative in its entirety, the M4 will ‘cut’ the city in half, creating a direct link between Linate Airport in the east and the south-western San Cristoforo district.

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 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).

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.

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Nationwide public transport strike 

Further travel disruption is expected this week as public transport staff from all around the country will strike for 24 hours on Friday, July 7th. 

All types of service, from buses to metro lines to ferries, may be affected by significant delays or cancellations during the day.

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

Deserted bus station in Rome

Friday's nationwide public transport strike may leave many bus and metro stations around the country deserted. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

The level of disruption caused by the demonstration will however vary from region to region, and even from city to city.

More details about the walkout and essential transport services (servizi essenziali) are likely to emerge closer to the date. 

Florence hosts the 2023 Toscana Pride

The 2023 edition of the Toscana Pride will take place in Florence on Saturday, July 8th. 

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The event’s traditional parade will start in the Giardino delle Scuderie Reali at 4.30pm and will then make its way to Piazza Vittorio Veneto. 

The parade may result in road closures and changes to public transport routes. All relevant details will be made available on this website in the days leading up to the event.

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