What changes in Italy For Members

On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week
The aerobatic unit of Italy's Air Force performs a flyover over Rome on March 17th 2013. Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

From new passport services at post offices around the country to the Day of National Unity and St Patrick's Day, here’s what to expect in Italy this week.



Voter registration deadline for EU nationals in Italy

Non-Italian EU nationals living in Italy have until midnight on Monday, March 11th to register to vote in the European Parliament election next June.

Voters are required to fill out the registration form available on the Italian Interior Ministry’s website and deliver it either electronically or in person to the mayor of their comune of residence.

People who have previously voted in a European election in Italy don’t have to register as their name will already be in the electoral roll.

British nationals in Italy are excluded from voting in the EU election following Brexit.

Passport issuance and renewal available at selected post offices

As of Monday, March 11th, it’ll be possible to request a passport or renew an existing one in a number of post offices around the country as part of the government’s Polis Project – a nationwide scheme to digitalise citizen services and streamline bureaucracy. 

The new passport issuance services will be available in some 7,000 offices (thus involving a total of 16 million residents), all located in municipalities (or comuni) with up to 15,000 inhabitants. A full list of comuni involved in the initiative should be released by Poste Italiane in the coming days.

Applicants will be asked to submit the necessary documentation directly with the post office staff, who will then process it and send it to the relevant police station (Questura). Once completed, the passport will be delivered straight to the applicant’s home address. 



Nationwide railway maintenance 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 is currently no further information on how the protest may impact train travel during the day as RFI hasn’t provided any relevant details yet.

You can keep up with the latest updates on this and other protests in March in The Local's strike news section.


Italy take on Wales in Six Nations' final round

The final round of the 2024 Six Nations Championship will see Italy’s national rugby team take on Wales at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday, March 16th.

The game will be broadcast free of charge on TV8 (channel eight on most TV sets in Italy), with kickoff set for 3.15pm Italian time.

Last week Italy beat Scotland to claim their first Six Nations home win since 2013.



Italy’s Day of National Unity

Though it isn’t an official holiday, which means you won’t get time off work for it, March 17th is one of the most patriotic days of the year in Italy as the country celebrates the Day of National Unity, or Giornata dell’Unità Nazionale.

March 17th is the country’s birthday as the Kingdom of Italy was officially founded on March 17th 1861 (before then, the peninsula was split into multiple rival states and regions).

Official ceremonies are held every year to mark the occasion, including the laying of a laurel wreath before Rome’s Altare della Patria monument by the president.

St Patrick’s Day

Sunday, March 17th will also mark St Patrick’s Day, which commemorates Ireland’s patron saint and, more broadly, Irish culture and heritage.

Celebrations aren’t as widespread in Italy as in some other countries but most major cities will still offer a number of Paddy’s Day-themed events over the weekend.

For instance, both Rome and Milan will hold an Ireland Week this year – a full week of events including traditional Irish dance performances, live music concerts and Irish food experiences.


Rome marathon

The 2024 edition of the Rome marathon will take place on Sunday, March 17th. 

The 42-kilometre race will start and finish at the Fori Imperiali, with the start time set for 8.30am.

Two parallel events will also take place on the day: the Run4Rome relay race and a five-kilometre fun run in the Circo Massimo area. Further details can be found on the marathon’s official website.


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