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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 Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi) in Rome's Piazza Navona. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

From an important deadline for second-home owners to free public transport in Rome, here's what people in Italy can expect this week.



First test of new online voting platform

A number of selected Italian citizens living abroad will take part in an online voting simulation between 8am on Wednesday, December 13th and 8pm on Thursday, December 14th.

The simulation, which the Italian interior ministry said was not “connected to any real electoral event”, will be the first in a series of planned tests of a new online voting platform known as ‘e-vote portal’.

The portal is currently being evaluated as a potential new voting option for Italians living abroad and voters temporarily outside of their comune of residence during European and national elections as well as referendums.  


First Italian leg of the Alpine Ski World Cup

The first Italian leg of the 2023-2024 edition of the Men’s Alpine Ski World Cup will unfold from Thursday, December 14th to Sunday, December 17th on the Saslong piste of the Val Gardena ski resort, Trentino Alto Adige. 

All of this year’s scheduled Italian dates are available here.

READ ALSO: How much more expensive will your ski trip in Italy be this winter?

Skier in Val Gardena, Italy

A skier is pictured on the famous Saslong piste in Italy's Val Gardena ski area in December 2021. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP


New Rome-Cortina rail route opens

Rome residents will have an easier way of getting to the famous slopes of the Cortina d'Ampezzo ski resort this week as a new sleeper train taking passengers from Roma Termini to the Calalzo station in the Dolomites in just over 10 hours is set to be launched on Friday, December 15th.   

READ ALSO: The train routes connecting Italy to the rest of Europe in 2024

The upcoming Espresso Cadore (‘Cadore Express’) will be the first in a series of new tourism-focused routes planned by Italy's state railway company employing ‘luxury’ trains and vintage locomotives on some of the most popular lines as well as some lesser-known itineraries.

Nationwide public transport strike

Commuters in Italy may face travel disruption on Friday morning as public transport staff around the country plan to take part in a 24-hour walkout. 

The strike is expected to affect bus, subway and tram services but shouldn’t impact the normal operation of taxis and interregional or long-distance trains. 

READ ALSO: The strikes affecting travel in Italy in December 2023

The level of disruption caused by the walkout will vary by city, with services in Milan and Rome currently expected to be among the most heavily affected. 

Anyone planning to use public transport on this date is advised to check the status of local services with the relevant operator before setting off.



Property tax on second homes

The second instalment of Italy's property tax on second homes – officially known as Imposta Municipale Unica (or IMU) – is due by Saturday, December 16th.

The tax is owed by all owners of a second home in Italy regardless of their nationality or residency status, but also applies to primary residences (prime case) in some rare cases

The deadline for the first instalment was June 16th.


Baggage handlers’ strike at Milan’s Linate and Malpensa airports

Passengers flying to or from Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa may face delays at check-in desks and luggage collection areas on Sunday, December 17th as baggage handlers at both airports plan to strike from 1pm to 5pm.

Few details are available yet as to how the walkout may affect flights, though some disruption seems likely as it is backed by four of Italy’s largest airport workers unions,

Malpensa airport, Milan, Italy

A view of Terminal 1 at Milan's Malpensa Airport in March 2008. Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP


Free public transport in Rome

Rome’s entire public transport network will be accessible free of charge on Sunday, December 17th as part of a new plan aimed at reducing car traffic and boosting tourism in the capital over the festive season. 

Under the plan, transport services will also be free on Christmas Eve (Sunday, December 24th).

Further measures within the newly approved decree include more frequent services on the Metro A subway line on all weekends of December as well as 50-percent discounts (for a maximum monthly discount of 400 euros) on taxi rides for residents aged 18 or over. 


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