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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
Young people sit in a park in Rome with an ancient Roman aqueduct in the background. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

From Easter Monday to World Carbonara Day events and free museum openings, here’s what to expect in Italy this week.



Easter Monday

Easter Monday, falling on April 1st this year, is known in Italy as Pasquetta, literally 'little Easter', or Lunedì dell'Angelo ('Monday of the Angel'), in reference to the Gospels’ account of an angel appearing to women gathered at Jesus's grave and telling them He had risen. 

Though it has less religious significance than Good Friday, unlike Venerdì santo, Easter Monday is a national public holiday, which means you’ll get a day off for it. 

READ ALSO: What's open and what's closed in Italy over Easter weekend?

If you’re in Italy on Monday, you can expect limited public transport services and reduced opening hours for shops and supermarkets. Motorists on Italian roads can also expect heavy traffic throughout the day, with possibly critical congestion in the afternoon and evening.

April Fool’s Day

This year’s Easter Monday public holiday coincides with April Fool’s Day, which is generally known in Italy as Pesce d’Aprile (literally ‘April’s fish’).

The name comes from a common prank that involves sticking a drawing of a fish onto the back of an unsuspecting victim and then asking them if they've seen 'April’s fish'.

Though it’s not clear where exactly this tradition comes from, the pesce d’aprile is a popular prank in Italy, so you might want to 'watch your back' on the day.


ITA Airways launches new Rome Fiumicino-London City direct flight

Italy’s flag carrier ITA Airways will launch a new direct service between Rome Fiumicino and London City Airport on Monday, with the airline set to operate 12 direct flights from Rome to London and 12 direct flights in the opposite direction every week. 

ITA Airways said last December that the new service would meet “significant demand on the part of both leisure and business customers in the two capitals”.

ITA Airways

An ITA Airways plane on the runway of Rome's Fiumicino airport. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP


Pupils return to school

Schools across most of Italy are set to reopen on Wednesday, April 3rd, after being closed since Maundy Thursday, falling on March 28th.

The one exception is the northwestern Aosta Valley region, where pupils are scheduled to return to school on Tuesday, April 2nd – a day earlier than the rest of the country.

Dates may differ for private institutions.



World Carbonara Day

Pasta lovers around the world will get have an excuse to enjoy pasta alla carbonara – one of the signature dishes of traditional Roman cuisine – on Saturday, April 6th, which marks the annual international Carbonara Day.

Plenty of restaurants and food markets around Italy will hold special carbonara-themed events on Saturday. For instance, chef Barbara Agosti will offer a 'wild' take on the classic carbonara recipe in her Milan restaurant Eggs.

READ ALSO: Ask an Italian: What are the unbreakable rules for making real pasta carbonara?

People in Rome meanwhile will get a chance to “learn all the secrets” to making the perfect carbonara by attending a three-hour culinary course organised by food magazine Gambero Rosso.

Pasta alla carbonara

A chef plates up a small portion of 'spaghetti alla carbonara'. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP


Free museum openings

People around Italy will be able to visit state-run museums and archaeological sites free of charge on Sunday, April 7th under the popular Domenica al Museo or ‘free museum Sundays’ national scheme.

The initiative applies to hundreds of sites, including world-famous attractions like the Colosseum, Pompeii, Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia, the Reggia di Caserta and Trieste's Miramare Castle. 

See more information about Italy's free museum Sundays scheme here.

Milan marathon

The 22nd edition of the Milan marathon will take place on Sunday, April 7th, with the start time set for 8.30am.

The 42-kilometre race will start and finish in the central Piazza del Duomo, with participants set to run by some of Milan’s most iconic monuments, including the Castello Sforzesco, the Arco della Pace and San Siro stadium.

Besides the main race, three parallel events will take place on the day: a non-competitive relay marathon with profits going to national or international non-profit organisations, a 3-kilometre family run and a dog run, where participants will run alongside their four-legged friends.


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