What changes about life in Italy in August 2022
Strikes and travel disruption
While Italy has so far been spared the chaos seen at airports in many European countries recently, that doesn’t mean travel to or within the country is guaranteed to be straightforward this summer.
Dozens of flights were cancelled or delayed in two Italian airline staff strikes in June, and unions warned that these were likely to be the first in “a long series” of protests “throughout the entire summer” amid ongoing disputes over pay and working conditions.
READ ALSO: ‘Arrive early’: Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption
Transport strikes of all types are a staple of summer in Italy, with protests often disrupting rail services and local public transit – usually on Fridays.
No further nationwide strikes have yet been announced for July. See The Local’s Italian travel news section for the latest news on any expected major disruption.
Heatwave and drought
Summer has only just officially begun in Italy, where the hot season is said to start from June 20th. But temperature-wise, this year it feels like we’ve been in the middle of summer for a lot longer already.
As July begins, one thing many Italian residents want to know is: will the weather change? As well as being profoundly uncomfortable, weeks of unusually high heat and humidity across the country have caused the worst drought for 70 years, as well as fuelling wildfires and electricity shortages.
READ ALSO: Drought in Italy: What water use restrictions are in place and where?
The current heatwave is, at least, expected to break in the first days of July. But overall, it’s set to be a long, dry summer. All forecasts so far point to Italy potentially breaking heat records, set in 2003.
In the meantime, we’ve got some very easy ways to save water during the shortages, plus tips for keeping cool in the heat like an Ancient Roman.
Covid rule changes?
For the first time in a long time, Italy has almost no Covid restrictions in place and the rules are not expected to change in the coming weeks.
The remaining rules you’ll need to be aware of if visiting Italy are the continuing mask mandate on public transport (in place until at least the end of September) and the requirement for anyone who tests positive to isolate for at least one week.
Following public debate over whether the isolation rule should now the scrapped, Italy’s health minister has confirmed he has no intention of changing it anytime soon.
Mask rules have been eased in Italy except for on public transport – though they remain recommended in crowded places. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP
€200 bonus payments
In July, the Italian state will begin paying out its one-off €200 ‘bonus’ – a benefit intended to offset the rising cost of living, intended for everyone with an annual income of under €35,000 gross.
But, while some details of the payment scheme remain unclear, some people will reportedly have to wait until September or October to receive their payment.
Here’s the official information so far about who will be eligible and how to claim.
Digital invoicing requirement for freelancers
Italy is bringing in new rules from July 1st that mean changes for freelancers who are on the ‘flat tax’ rate. While digital invoicing may sound like it should be more straightforward than paper, there are new regulations and online systems to get to grips with.
Find out what self-employed workers need to know about the new ‘fatturazione elettronica’ or digital invoicing system here.
Fuel price cap extended
As the cost of living continues to bite, Italy’s government has confirmed it will extend its fuel price reduction throughout July.
Motorists can expect the current 30-cent cut to the cost per litre for petrol, diesel, LPG and methane to continue until August 2nd.
By law, shops in Italy are allowed only two big sales a year – one in winter, one in summer – and the summer sale kicks off in early July.
The sales continue for several weeks, with the exact start and end dates varying depending on which Italian region you’re in. See this summer’s sale dates here.
Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP
Schools broke up for summer weeks ago: Italy’s long school summer holidays began in June and go on until early or mid-September, depending on the region.
But adults usually don’t begin their somewhat shorter summer vacations until July, meaning this is the month many Italian families will go away.
With an estimated 90 percent of Italian holidaymakers planning to travel within their own country this year, plus the return of mass tourism from overseas, prepare to arrive early to find a spot for your towel on the beach this month.
There are no national bank holidays during July in Italy.
Festivals and events
Summer is full of events and, with Covid restrictions lifted, Italy is ready to host some of its largest festivals again.
In July, people can look forward to the return of major events including the Palio di Siena, the first of which is held on July 2nd, and the Umbria Jazz festival from July 8-17th. There’s also the ongoing Verona Opera Festival and the Venice Art Biennale this month.
With numerous local fairs, cultural events and food-focused festivals held across the country, there will no doubt be something happening wherever you are in the country.