What changes in Italy For Members

What changes in Italy in February 2024

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What changes in Italy in February 2024
A carnival float rolls down the streets of Viareggio, Tuscany, during the traditional carnival celebrations in February 2017. Photo by Claudio GIOVANNINI / AFP

From a new car 'bonus' to carnival celebrations, here's what people living in Italy can expect this month.


Italy brings in new piracy blocker

A new anti-piracy platform designed to block illegal streaming within 30 minutes of detection will be active in February after first coming into effect on January 31st.

Known as ‘Piracy Shield’, the platform will reportedly improve upon previous blocking methods by covering more internet providers and allowing for quicker handling of piracy reports.

The digital tool, which is set to be managed by Italy’s communications authority AgCom, will come after broadcasters' calls for tougher legislation on piracy amid growing numbers of illegal streams.

Pirated content is estimated to cost Italian football broadcasters alone some 350 million euros every year. 

Anyone caught streaming pirated content in Italy can face fines of up to 5,000 euros.

Italy to unveil new ‘green’ car bonus

Ministers say the latest car purchasing incentive is intended to “favour the purchase of ecologically sustainable vehicles” and “boost national production” by offering discounts of up to 13,750 euros for customers buying cars with low CO2 emission levels (less than 135 grams per kilometre, according to the latest reports). 

The scheme is not the first of its kind as similar incentives ran last year with a fund of 650 million euros in total. 

Italy's business minister Adolfo Urso will reportedly unveil the new round of state incentives for the purchase of non-polluting vehicles on Thursday, February 1st. 

Electric car

An electric SUV charges at a hub in downtown Milan in March 2023. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP


Carnival celebrations

February in Italy is carnival season, and the most famous events of all are held in Venice, with celebrations running from January 27th to February 13th this year.

From water parades and street-art performances to fine-dining experiences and masked balls, there’s a lot that participants can look forward to this month, including a chance to sample the city’s traditional frittelle veneziane (Venetian-style fritters). 

READ ALSO: Venice Carnival: What to expect if you’re attending in 2024

But Venice is not the only part of Italy famous for its carnival celebrations.

Every year Viareggio – a small town on Tuscany’s Tyrrhenian coast – holds one of the most unique carnival shows in the world as masked performers carry dozens of papier-mâché floats and large-scale caricatures of popular political figures along the town’s seafront.

Sanremo Music Festival

Italy’s most famous song competition will return this February.

As per tradition, the festival will be held in the Ariston Theatre, in the Ligurian seaside town of Sanremo, with 30 artists competing for the winning spot over five nights (from February 6th to February 10th). 

READ ALSO: Why is the Sanremo music festival so important to Italians?

Considered by many as Italy’s answer to the Eurovision contest, Sanremo is a key date in the country’s cultural calendar as every year the event whips up excitement among broadcasters, journalists and viewers alike.


Milan to scrap paper metro tickets

Milan will bid farewell to single-use transport tickets in favour of smart top-up cards in February in a bid to enhance environmental sustainability and reduce fare evasion. 

Though Milan’s public transport operator ATM hasn’t yet confirmed on exactly which date the switch will take place, metro turnstiles and ticket machines are currently being updated to suit the new ticketing system.

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day, falling on February 14th, is celebrated in Italy in largely the same way as in the rest of the world: it’s a heavily commercialised holiday during which couples can expect to spend over the odds on a weekend away or a meal out. 

That said, Saint Valentine is widely believed to have been an Italian saint, and is the patron saint of multiple Italian towns including Terni, Sadali in Sardinia, Quero and Pozzoleone in Veneto, Palmoli in Abruzzo, and Vico del Gargano in Puglia.

Each of these towns has their own way of celebrating the day (for instance, Quero has a tradition of blessing oranges and throwing them off a hill for good luck).

Verona, where Shakespeare set Romeo and Juliet and which has appointed a particular balcony in the city centre ‘Juliet’s balcony’, has embraced the kitschier aspects of the festival, and every year puts on the five-day-long Valentines-themed Verona in Love.

Italy, Saint Valentine

A couple kisses in front of the Foro Romano in central Rome in February 2014. Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP


Last chance to hop on the Rome-Cortina night train

A new sleeper train service connecting the Eternal City to the famous slopes of Cortina d'Ampezzo – one of Italy's biggest winter sports destinations – will end on Sunday, February 25th. 

According to news agency Ansa, the route will be reopened at some point during the summer, though there’s currently no indication as to exactly when.

The ‘Cadore Express’ was the first in a series of new tourism-focused routes planned by Italy’s state-owned railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS).


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