How Italy is marking International Women’s Day

From protests to free museum tickets, here's a look at what towns and cities across Italy are doing for International Women's Day on March 8th.

Protesters at a 2020 march against gender-based violence in Rome.
Protesters at a 2020 march against gender-based violence in Rome. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.

On International Women’s Day, Italy is once again offering free entry to all state museums, parks and archeological sites for women across the country.

Many of the venues are highlighting the work of women artists, and organising guided tours and itineraries focused on their contributions.

But this is far from the only initiative planned in Italy to mark the occasion: towns and cities along the length of the boot have announced an array of marches, talks, concerts, readings and exhibitions.

Here are some of the more notable events taking place in Italy in recognition of International Women’s Day.


Womens’ rights organisation Non Una di Meno (‘Not One Less’) is organising a transfeminist protest against gender violence and for abortion rights and equal pay in 37 cities and towns across the country.

This is the seventh consecutive year the organisation is protesting on this date; Rome, Milan, Florence, Palermo, Turin, Genoa, Trento and other cities will participate in the march, which coincides with a nationwide public transport strike.

READ ALSO: How will Wednesday’s strike affect public transport in Italy?


Mayor Giuseppe Sala will inaugurate the Parco 8 marzo or ‘8th of March Park’, named for International Women’s Day, in the vicinity of the former Porta Vittoria station.

The new park features walking and cycle paths, play areas for children and tables and benches for socialising. 

The city will also offer free admission to its civic museums for women on Friday, March 10th.


In Palermo, the city’s social and healthcare entities (ASP) are holding what they’re calling ‘The Mimosas of Prevention’ (mimosa flowers are often given to women in Italy on March 8th), a cancer screening drop-in clinic.

From 8.30am to 4.30pm, a mobile ‘health village’ will be set up on Via dello Spirito Santo at the Monte di Pietà, inside the former Falletta barracks, to free provide screenings for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer, as well as for melanomas and STD infections.

The same service will reportedly be available in family clinics throughout the province until March 12th.

READ ALSO: 11 statistics that show the state of gender equality in Italy


In Naples, the Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory is hosting a talk about women astronomers and scientists, followed by the opportunity to look through its telescopes.

The free event, titled ‘Women and Girls in Astronomy – When I grow up I’ll be an astrophysicist’ starts at 8.30pm with a conversation with the observatory’s astronomers Giulia De Somma and Clementina Sasso, and finishes with observations of the night sky.

Women will also be granted free entry to the Herculaneum Archeological Park throughout the day.


Genoa’s city centre is hosting an open-air photographic exhibition of trailblazing women from Italy’s history titled Pionere, or ‘Pioneers’, which will remain up until March 19th.

The exhibit features three-metre-high photographs installed around Piazza De Ferrari, as well as outside the town halls in Savona, La Spezia and Imperia, with captions and QR codes to access more information about the women featured.

In the regional council’s Sala Trasparenza, running continuously until 8pm, there will be talks from modern-day women ‘pioneers’, including athletes, medics and scientists.


Starting at 11am, the Museum of the Roman Republic has organised a free guided tour showcasing the role of women fighters, journalists, medics and others in the defence of Rome in 1849.

The Porta Pinciana outpatient clinic, inside Villa Borghese, will provide free pap tests and thyroid screenings throughout the day, and other clinics around the city will offer free HPV and STD tests, mammograms and colorectal screenings, under a scheme sponsored by Roma Football Club.

You can find a full list of the clinics involved on the Roma website.

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EU parliament slams Italy’s clampdown on same-sex couples’ rights

Members of the EU parliament on Thursday demanded that Italy's government "rescind its decision" after the country's interior ministry ordered Milan to stop registering the children of same-sex families.

EU parliament slams Italy's clampdown on same-sex couples' rights

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni came to power last year after a campaign during which she placed a strong emphasis on traditional family values.

Earlier this month, the government made moves to restrict gay parents’ rights.

Milan had been registering children of same-sex couples conceived overseas through surrogacy, which is illegal in Italy, or medically assisted reproduction, which is only available to heterosexual couples.

But its centre-left mayor Beppe Sala said this had stopped after the interior ministry sent a letter insisting that the courts must decide.

READ ALSO: Milan stops recognising children born to same-sex couples

Members of the European Parliament said they feared the Milan move was “part of a broader attack against the LGBTQI+ community in Italy”.

They urged the Italian government to “immediately rescind its decision” in an amendment to a 2022 report on the rule of law in the EU put forward by Renew Europe group of centrist and liberal MEPs.

They said the “decision will inevitably lead to discrimination against not only same-sex couples, but also primarily their children”, adding it was “a direct breach of children’s rights” under a UN convention.

Sala came to Brussels to seek MEPs’ support during a session on Wednesday and Thursday.

Italy legalised same-sex civil unions in 2016, but opposition from the Catholic Church meant it stopped short of granting gay couples the right to adopt.

Decisions were made on a case-by-case basis by the courts as parents took legal action, although some local authorities decided to act unilaterally, including Milan.

Family law is decided by each member state but the European Commission in December presented a proposal that would force every country in the bloc to recognise parents’ rights granted in another nation.

The plan would protect children of same-sex families travelling within the EU.