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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 bus passes by the Vittoriano monument in central Rome. Public transport services all around the country may be disrupted by a nationwide strike on Monday. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

From a nationwide public transport strike to the end of the heatwave (for some), here’s what to expect in Italy this week.



Public transport strike

Strike action on Monday, July 24th, is set to cause more disruption for public transport passengers as public transport staff plan to take part in a four-hour walkout.

Monday’s strike is expected to affect all types of local public transport, from metro lines to surface services (buses, trams, ferries, etc.), in cities around the country, including Rome.

The severity of the disruption will vary from city to city, though delays or cancellations are possible and passengers are advised to check the status of their service with the operator.

Read more about what you can expect from Monday’s strike action.

Possible new superbonus measures

Homeowners attempting to claim Italy's building 'superbonus 110' who are affected by problems with blocked credit will be waiting to see the outcome of a meeting on Monday which could mean the agreement of new measures aimed at resolving the issue.

READ ALSO: What’s going on with Italy’s blocked superbonus credit?

Economy ministry officials will meet with representatives of national homeowners’ associations on Monday and are expected to discuss ways to protect homeowners whose renovation projects were stranded by the credit block.

Italy: worker on scaffolding

As funds for Italy's building superbonus remain blocked, the government may introduce new measures to protect affected homeowners. Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP

Funds for the incentive remain impossible to access for many despite a number of amendments approved in April.

It’s unclear what the plan could include, though it’s unlikely any decree containing new measures could be ready before parliament’s summer break according to media reports.



Heatwave over - in the north?

A cool air front sweeping in from northern Europe is expected to reach Italy by Tuesday bringing an end to a prolonged heatwave that has been scorching the length of the country.

Forecasts say the incoming front will stamp out the heat across the country, starting with northern regions - though it doesn't look likely to reach the south of the country.

In fact, while northern regions are forecast to see temperatures in line with seasonal averages this week, the mercury may still settle between 35C and 40C across the south, with a “blockage” preventing heat from leaving the mezzogiorno.


PM Meloni to meet US President Joe Biden

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will meet US President Joe Biden in Washington on Thursday in what will be her first official visit to the White House since she took office last October. 

The two leaders will discuss issues including the Ukraine conflict and Italy’s upcoming G7 presidency, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. 


China’s 'Belt and Road' Initiative, a highly contentious economic development agreement which Rome signed in 2019, will also be at the centre of their talks according to national media reports as Italy considers whether or not to pull out of the pact. 

No more air transport strikes

Anyone flying to or from Italy between Thursday July 27th and September 5th can breathe easy: strikes (at least Italian ones) shouldn’t affect your journey between these dates.

Strike action impacting Italy's air travel sector is not allowed during the peak summer travel period.

This is called the franchigia estiva, or ‘summer exemption period’, and it exists partly to protect Italy’s lucrative tourism industry.

The air travel franchigia doesn't prevent other types of transport strikes from going ahead in Italy, though walkouts tend to be relatively few and far between during the hottest months.

Plane and air traffic tower control in Italy

Strike action impacting Italy's air travel sector is not allowed between July 27th and September 5th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP


Heavy traffic expected

Motorists on Italian roads can expect heavy traffic over the weekend as thousands of people around the country will leave for their holidays at the height of the yearly esodo estivo (‘summer exodus’). 

The official traffic calendar issued by Italy’s state police every summer forecasts heavy congestion for the weekend, with roads seeing 'possible critical conditions' both Saturday and Sunday.

READ ALSO: The worst dates to travel on Italy's roads in August

Motorways connecting the north of the country to the south and smaller roads (strade statali) leading to coastal areas and other holiday hotspots are the most likely to become clogged with traffic over the weekend.


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