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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
The heat is on in Italy this week as temperatures are set to soar above 40C in the south and islands.(Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

From transport strikes to soaring temperatures, here's what to expect in Italy this week.



New emergency alert system tested in Emilia-Romagna

It'll be the turn of people in Emilia-Romagna to test Italy's new emergency alert system on Monday, July 10th, following trials in Tuscany, Sardinia, Sicily and Calabria.

Italy’s civil protection agency will send a text to all mobiles registered in the northeastern region at noon, with devices to emit a notification tone “different from normal ringtones”.

READ ALSO: 'IT-Alert': How Italy will warn you of nearby emergencies via text

The IT-Alert system is expected to be rolled out nationwide in early 2024, according to authorities. Once up and running, it will be used to warn people of serious emergencies or natural disasters unfolding or about to take place in their area.

Rome’s Pizza Week

If you’re in Rome this week, 50 of the capital’s most popular pizzerias will be putting on special menus and events in honour of Pizza Week, running from July 10-24th and organised by the city along with international pizza ranking website 50 Top Pizza.

Every night from Monday to Friday restaurants will offer pizza specials alongside everything from live music to ‘pizza acrobatics’, all in celebration of Italy’s favourite food.

Check the full event listings here to see if your favourite Rome pizzeria will be involved.



Temperatures rise

After most of Italy enjoyed fine summer weather in recent days and weeks, with temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s, the mercury is set to soar midweek bringing some less pleasant conditions.

Average temperatures are forecast to reach 35-37°C in parts of the north by Wednesday, particularly around the Po valley. 

Things will be hotter the further south you go, with up to 38°C expected in central regions and up to 42°C on the two major islands os Sicily and Sardinia.

Towards the end of the week, things should cool down in the north of the country with low pressure moving in from northern Europe creating stormy conditions in some areas.


National rail strike

Thursday won't be the best day to travel by train in Italy as the country's two biggest rail companies are set to be hit by strikes.

Staff from national rail company Trenitalia and private high-speed operator Italo are planning a protest lasting a total for 23 hours: from 3am on Thursday to 2am on Friday.

CALENDAR: The Italian transport strikes to expect in summer 2023


All services run by the two companies may experience delays and/or cancellations, though the level of disruption could vary depending on region and city.

Italy's national broadcaster Rai reported possible "total or partial cancellations" of Frecce, Intercity and Regional train services.


Both companies are expected to guarantee a number of minimum services to operate at peak times, but have not released details at the time of writing. 

Anyone planning to travel by train in Italy on Thursday is advised to check the status of their service with the operator before setting off.


Airport strikes

After train strikes on Thursday, air passengers travelling to or from Italy may be affected by strike action at airports around the country.

Handling and check-in staff will reportedly strike for eight hours between 10am and 6pm, while separate protests will involve pilots from Malta Air, which operates some Ryanair flights, and pilots and flight attendants from Vueling.


While there were no details available at the time of writing about possible cancellations or delays on Saturday, anyone with a flight booked in Italy on the day of the strike is advised to check the status with their airline before setting off.

Feast of the Redeemer in Venice

Venice’s popular Festa del Redentore (‘Feast of the Redeemer’) will take place on Saturday, July 15th. The annual event is held to commemorate the end of a plague that killed some 46,000 Venetians in the mid-16th century.

Redentore celebrations usually kick off early on Saturday afternoon and last until the early hours of Sunday. The only break from the festivities comes at 11.30pm, when everyone stops to gaze at the traditional 40-minute firework display held over the lagoon’s waters. 


Direct rail link opens between Rome and Pompeii

Visitors hoping to tour Italy’s most famous sights in limited time will soon have a faster and easier way to reach Pompeii directly from Rome with the opening of a new high-speed rail link planned for this Sunday, July 16th.

The plan, first announced in April, is to open a new stop on the existing high-speed train line connecting Rome to Naples and Salerno, allowing visitors to reach the Pompeii archaeological site from the capital and, later, from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

Currently getting to Pompeii from Rome by train means changing trains in Naples and taking a regional service that stops in a dozen coastal towns along the Gulf of Naples - a 250-kilometre journey that takes around two hours.

But the direct route is set to cut travel time in half. The first train on the route, a high-speed Frecciarossa, is scheduled to leave Rome's central Termini station at 8.53am on Sunday, stopping at Napoli Afragola and Napoli Central stations only before arriving at Pompeii at 10.40 - a total journey time of one hour 47 minutes.

Passengers will also reportedly be able to buy tickets for Pompeii on board the train. Tickets can be bought on the Trenitalia website.



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