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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

From the return of high temperatures to heavy weekend traffic, here’s what to expect in Italy this week.



Government to discuss taxi shortage

Cabinet ministers will meet on Monday in the last sitting before the summer recess to discuss solutions to the taxi shortage seen across Italy this summer. 

The government says it is looking at ways to increase the number of taxis on the roads in Rome, Milan and other cities after the country’s competition watchdog last week launched an investigation into “critical issues” in Italy’s taxi sector.

Difficulties with getting a taxi in Italy are nothing new, but the return of mass tourism post-pandemic has highlighted the problem, leading to widespread reports of a severe shortage of taxis in major cities as well as complaints about some taxi drivers still refusing to take card payments.

READ ALSO: 'I've given up': How hard is it to get a taxi in Italian cities?

Ministers are reportedly considering issuing new taxi licences - something which Italy’s major cities have not done for almost two decades amid fierce opposition from taxi drivers. Temporary, 12-month licences are also being considered, according to reports.

Italy's cabinet is set to convene on Monday to discuss the country's taxi shortage.

Taxis are getting increasingly hard to find in Italy. Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP.

Sizzling heat returns

Another heatwave is expected to hit early this week, pushing temperatures above seasonal averages once again.

Temperatures are expected to exceed the 35C mark in the northern plains, Tyrrhenian-facing regions, and on the two major islands, Sicily and Sardinia, as a new wave of high pressure, or anticyclone, moving in from northern Africa reaches the country on Monday.

According to the latest forecasts, the incoming heat will peak on Wednesday, August 9th, when the mercury is forecast to rise beyond 38C.

Current long-term forecasts suggest that very hot weather may persist until the Ferragosto holiday.



Shooting stars night

August 10th, which falls on a Thursday this year, is known in Italy as the notte di San Lorenzo.

This is generally one of the most romantic nights of the year in the country as peopl gather outside in hope of catching some shooting stars (also known as lacrime di San Lorenzo, or “Saint Lawrence’s tears”) as they cross the night sky. 

While the 10th is the night most people celebrate, it’s not actually the best night to watch the shooting star spectacle. 

The Perseid meteor shower (a cluster of small celestial bodies catching fire as they collide with the earth's atmosphere) usually peaks between August 11th and 13th, with the early hours of Sunday tipped as the best time to gaze skyward.



Planned metro A closure in Rome

A section of Rome’s Metro A subway line between Anagnina and Subaugusta, in the southeast of the city, will close from Friday, August 11th until Sunday, August 13th.

A different section of the line will be closed from the 14th: Arco di Travertino to Ottaviano is to close from August 14th to August 24th. 

READ ALSO: Rome to partly close Metro line A in mid-August

Shuttle buses will replace metro services on the affected section according to Rome's transport operator. 

Parts of Rome's Metro A subway line will close at various points during August. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP.


Heavy traffic expected

Expect heavy traffic if travelling on Italy’s motorways at peak times over the weekend as Italians set off on their summer holidays or enjoy a long weekend. 


With many enjoying a ponte (‘bridge’, or four-day weekend) over the Ferragosto holiday, this is set to be one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

The official traffic calendar issued by Italy’s state police every summer forecasts very heavy congestion from as early as Friday morning up to Sunday evening, with roads likely to see ‘critical conditions' on Saturday morning. 

CALENDAR: The busiest dates to travel on Italy's roads this 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.

Italy's mid-August Ferragosto holiday weekend is set to be one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Photo by JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP.


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