For members


Trains, taxis, hospitals: How are strikes affecting Italy on Friday?

Italian unions called a 24-hour strike on Friday affecting transport and other sectors, but how much disruption are these protests causing? Here’s what you need to know.

Man awaiting train at Milan railway station
Waiting for a train in Milan. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

A nationwide 24-hour general strike affecting sectors from transport to education was expected to cause disruption in Italy on Friday, May 26th.

The strike was called earlier this month by USB (Unione Sindacati di Base) – one of Italy’s main trade unions – in protest against precarious work contracts and low wages.

READ ALSO: Why are there so many transport strikes in Italy?

As well as asking union members across the country to down tools for the day, USB is holding a protest in central Florence on Friday as it demands an end to temporary work contracts, an increase of 300 euros to all employees’ wages, a retirement age of 62, and a minimum state pension of 1,000 euros a month.

The union warned that the strike would affect schools, hospitals, transport and public offices, causing concern for those who need to get to work on the day as well as people travelling in Italy.

But, as always with strikes in Italy, the true impact was hard to predict as this mainly depends on how many union members decide to participate on the day.

Here’s a quick overview of what is – and isn’t – being affected on Friday.

According to Italy’s transport ministry, the strike involves:

  • Railways
  • Local public transport
  • Sea transport
  • Taxis
  • School staff
  • Hospital and healthcare staff

Airports and flights are not affected – though may be hit next week by an airport staff strike planned for Sunday, June 4th.

There will be no strike action in Emilia Romagna after the region was hit by severe flooding last week.

Italy’s fire brigade will not be participating in strike action either following the disaster in Emilia Romagna.

And it’s important to note that, as usual with strikes in Italy, the level of disruption to all types of services will vary by region and city.


In the case of services run by national rail operators Trenitalia and Italo the walkout will only last eight hours: from 9am to 5pm.

Trenitalia’s long-distance Frecce and Intercity trains were running as normal on Friday, though the company said some local and regional services may be affected.

The details of services which are guaranteed to run can be found on Trenitalia’s website here.

Private operator Italo also confirmed services will be affected between 9am and 5pm, however again many services are guaranteed to run. See the company’s full list here.

A tram in Milan’s Porta Nuova neighborhood. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)

Staff from northern rail company Trenord were participating in the 24-hour strike, but the company gave few details ahead of time as to the scale of disruption passengers should expect.

Trenord said some routes may be affected throughout the day and that its Milan-Malpensa airport connection was not guaranteed to operate, but said it would be replaced by a bus service if any services were cancelled.

There were no reports of widespread cancellations or delays to rail services in any major Italian cities as of midday on Friday.

Passengers are in any case advised to check their route’s status on Friday before setting off.

Local public transport and taxis

Friday’s walkout was expected to affect all forms of local public transport, including buses, trams, metro lines and ferries.

People in northern cities including Turin, Milan, Trieste, Venice and Bologna are likely to see the most disruption from Friday’s walkout, according to media reports, though delays and/or cancellations are also possible elsewhere.

Apps make it easy to summon a taxi in Rome.

Photo by Andreas Solaro / AFP

As every Italian city has its own local transport operator the exact times and scale of disruption will vary everywhere in the country, and passengers are advised to ceck their local provider’s website or social media for updates.

Strikes in Italy also don’t mean a complete stop to all public transport services.

READ ALSO: Should you travel in Italy when there’s a strike on?

By law, all public transport companies in Italy are required to provide ‘minimum services’ on strike days, with guaranteed services including those for commuters at peak times as well as airport transfer lines, which tend to remain in operation, if on a reduced schedule.

Though taxi drivers were also expected to be involved in the strike, it was unclear to what extent or in which cities. There were no reports on Friday of disruption to taxi services.

Schools and hospitals

In addition to transport services, schools throughout the country are set to be affected by Friday’s action, Italy’s Education Ministry confirmed.

Whether and to what extent individual schools remain open depends on how many and which staff decide to participate in the action.

In hospitals and healthcare facilities, the strike is expected to involve cleaning and catering staff, meaning there may be some changes to the usual levels of service.

Again, the scale of the impact will vary from one hospital to another depending on how many staff participate in Friday’s strike.

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.

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For members


Will Italy’s strikes on Friday affect the Ryder Cup in Rome?

A quarter of a million visitors are expected in Rome this weekend for the first Ryder Cup golf tournament ever to be held in Italy, but will they face transport strikes in the city?

Will Italy's strikes on Friday affect the Ryder Cup in Rome?

Players from Europe and the United States will battle it out between Friday and Sunday in the Cup’s 44th edition, to be held at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.

But with reports of transport strikes in the news, people visiting Rome this weekend may be concerned that their plans will be disrupted.

Strikes now look unlikely to cause disruption in the city of Rome itself, after a 24-hour public transport strike planned for Friday was postponed until October 9th.

Airport strikes

Friday may however be a difficult day for air travel to or from Italy, with more than one strike by airport and airline staff set to go ahead within the same 24-hour period.

It remains unclear ahead of the strikes how disruptive they may turn out to be, and whether this could lead to any significant delays at Italian airports.

STRIKES: How will flights and transport in Italy be affected on Friday?

Aeroporti di Roma, the management company running Rome’s two airports, Ciampino and Fiumicino, had not announced any likely disruption as of Thursday afternoon, only warning passengers flying on Friday to check the status of their flight with their airline before setting off.

Flights scheduled to depart between 7am and 10am and between 6pm and 9pm are protected from strikes under Italian law, and should go ahead as usual on Friday. 

Italy’s civil aviation authority Enac has published a list of flights guaranteed to go ahead on Friday on its website.

(Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Public transport

Strikes shouldn’t cause any particular problems with getting around Rome by public transport during the tournament.

However, there is a closure on part of the metro line this weekend which could complicate things for passengers.

Rome’s metro B1, a branch of the B line, will be shut from September 28th until October 1st.

This line serves four stations, from Piazza Bologna to Jonio, in the north-east of the capital, close to the Marco Simone golf course.

The city transport authority ATAC said the closure was urgently needed in order to carry out repair work on overhead lines, and that the B1 line will be replaced by shuttle buses in the meantime.

Rome meanwhile plans to increase the frequency of metro trains on the B line to once every five minutes for the duration of the Ryder Cup.

The city has also announced free shuttle buses will be laid on between Marco Simone and the train stations Ponte Mammolo (Metro B) and La Rustica UIR (FL2 railway) over the weekend.

Find more information on Rome city council’s Ryder Cup event website.