Strikes For Members

Key dates: How Italy will be hit by transport strikes in March

The Local Italy
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Key dates: How Italy will be hit by transport strikes in March
Commuters stand in front of a departure board at Rome's Termini station during a strike. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

People travelling to, from or across Italy may face disruption in the coming weeks as unions have called multiple strikes affecting flights, trains and public transport services.


Transport strikes are no rare occurrence in Italy, and March will be no exception as unions representing airline, railway and public transport staff have announced multiple walkouts which are set to affect the travel plans of both locals and international visitors.

Here's a look at the protests that are expected to cause the greatest amount of disruption this month.

March 8th – Nationwide general strike

Rail and public transport passengers may face delays and/or cancellations on Friday, March 8th due to a 24-hour general strike backed by all of Italy's main transport unions. 

This is expected to be one of the most disruptive walkouts of the month as it will involve staff from both public and private transport operators all around the country.

Rome, empty bus station

A deserted bus station during a national transport strike in Rome. Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

Besides the rail and public transport sectors, ferry services to and from Italy’s major islands, Sicily and Sardinia, and as-yet-unspecified motorway services are also set to be affected, according to the latest reports.

March 13th – Nationwide railway staff strike

Train passengers around the country may experience disruption on Wednesday, March 13th as track maintenance staff at Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), which owns and manages all of Italy’s railway network, plan to strike for eight hours, with the start and end times of the walkout varying from region to region.

There currently is no further information about the protest and its potential impacts on train travel during the day.


March 18th – Multiple bus operator strikes in Sicily

Staff from four different bus operators in Sicily (Sicilbus, Etna Trasporti, Interbus Regione Sicilia and Segesta Autolinee) will strike for four hours, from 9.30am to 1.30pm, on Monday, March 18th.

Scheduled services run by all of the above-mentioned operators may be significantly delayed or cancelled during the entire length of walkout.

March 22nd – Air traffic controllers’ strike at Verona airport and Air Dolomiti walkout

Passengers flying to or from Verona’s Villafranca airport may face delays and/or cancellations on Friday, March 22nd as staff from national air traffic control agency Enav plan to strike from 10am to 6pm.

Detailed information on guaranteed flights is expected to be released on Enav’s website closer to the walkout date.

Cabin staff from airline Air Dolomiti – a subsidiary of Lufthansa which operates a number of routes from northern Italy to Germany and vice versa – will also strike from 10am to 6pm on March 22nd. 

It’s currently unclear how the strike will impact the airline’s scheduled flights during the day, though changes to departure times or cancellations cannot be ruled out at this point. 

March 22nd – Public transport strike in Milan

Public transport passengers in Milan can expect delays and cancellations on Friday, March 22nd as staff at ATM, the city’s major public transport operator, plan on striking for 24 hours.  

The walkout is expected to affect all metro lines as well as bus and tram services. A list of guaranteed services will be made available online by ATM closer to the date.


March 23rd-24th – Nationwide train strike 

Staff at Italy’s state-owned railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), which includes Trenitalia and Trenord, plan to strike from 9pm on Saturday, March 23rd to 9pm on Sunday, March 24th.

The protest is expected to affect long-distance services as well as regional and local routes.

Train strike, Italy

Passengers get off a Frecciarossa high-speed train at Rome's Termini station. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

A number of minimum services will be guaranteed to operate during the strike, details of which will be made available on the Trenitalia and Trenord websites closer to the date.

Private operator Italo will not be affected by the walkout as it’s not part of the FS group.

Local strikes

A number of smaller regional and local walkouts have also been announced for the coming weeks. A full list can be found on the Transport Ministry’s strike calendar

How bad are strikes in Italy?

Strikes in Italy are frequent but not all of them cause significant disruption for travellers.

The severity of disruption caused by any strike in the country largely depends on how many staff in any part of the transport sector decide to participate.

And, even in the case of highly disruptive strikes, some essential services (or servizi minimi) are guaranteed to run at peak times. This goes for all transport sectors, from local public transport to rail and air travel.

Keep up with the latest updates in The Local's Italian strike news section.


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