For members


What are the upcoming strikes in Italy and how could they impact you?

As strikes continue to affect flights, rail and public transport services in Italy, we take a look at how upcoming protests may impact travel plans.

Woman in front of departure board at Fiumicino airport in Rome
The national airport staff strike originally scheduled for Friday, May 19th, will now take place on Sunday, June 4th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Transport strikes are hardly unusual in Italy and, to some extent, the nature of the country’s union landscape itself contributes to their frequency. 

But strike action has been exceedingly intense over the past few months, with airline, train and public transport passengers facing disruption from nationwide demonstrations on multiple occasions.

As things stand, the trend looks set to continue in the coming weeks as two more major nationwide demonstrations loom on the horizon: a general public transport strike on Friday, May 26th and a 24-hour airport staff strike on June 4th, which was postponed from May 19th. 

Here’s a look at what you can expect from the upcoming walkouts and how they might affect your travel plans. 

May 26th: Public transport staff around the country will take part in a 24-hour walkout 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.

The walkout will affect all forms of public transport – from surface services (buses, trolleybuses and trams) to metro lines and ferries – as well as taxi services. 

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

Rail services are also set to be impacted, though, as currently indicated by Italy’s Transport Ministry, the walkout should only last eight hours – from 9am to 5pm – in their case. 

Crowded bus station in Italy

All public transport services, from buses to metro lines to ferries, are expected to be affected by delays or cancellations on Friday, May 26th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Airline and airport staff will not take part in the demonstration. 

Though no details are currently available about exactly how much disruption people will face on the day, significant delays or cancellations to all involved services are expected during the strike. 

The impact is also expected to vary by region and city. Strike action has so far been confirmed by public transport staff in many northern cities including Turin, Milan and Bologna, as well as those at regional transport operators around the country.

By law however, all public transport operators in Italy are required to provide ‘minimum services’ (servizi essenziali or minimi in Italian) during strike actions to allow commuters to make the journey to and from their destination.

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

Minimum services are generally guaranteed to operate during two separate time windows, one in the morning (usually between 7am and 10am) and the other one in the evening (between 6pm and 9pm). 

As such, if you’re planning on travelling on May 26th, you’re strongly advised to check out the planned minimum services of the relevant transport companies.

June 4th: Airport handling staff from all around the country will take part in a 24-hour walkout on Sunday, June 4th.

The demonstration was originally scheduled for Friday, May 19th but was rescheduled to the current date after devastating floods ravaged the northern Emilia Romagna region on May 17th.

Since at least four of Italy’s largest transport workers’ unions will take part in the strike, the protest is expected to cause some level of disruption at all of Italy’s major airports, especially at check-in desks and in baggage collection areas.

Empty check-in desks during a strike

Airport staff from all around the country and cabin crews from several major airlines will strike on Sunday, June 4th. Photo by Andre PAIN / AFP

Besides the above demonstration, staff from several airlines are set to hold separate protests on this date.

READ ALSO: Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this spring

Notably, staff at Spanish airlines Volotea and Vueling, and Air Dolomiti – a subsidiary of Lufthansa operating routes from Germany to 13 different Italian destinations – are expected to take part in a 24-hour nationwide strike.

Meanwhile, ground staff from American Airlines and Emirates are expected to strike for four hours, between 12pm and 4pm.

Flights run by any of the above airlines may reasonably experience delays or cancellations on the day, though no relevant details have emerged yet.

Under Italian law, flights scheduled to leave between 7am and 10am and between 6pm and 9pm are protected from strike action. 

A full list of guaranteed flights is generally released by Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) on this web page in the days prior to the strike.

Passengers travelling on Sunday, June 4th are strongly advised to check the status of their flight with their airline prior to their journey.

There currently aren’t any national transport strikes scheduled beyond June 4th, though a number of minor local walkouts are scheduled to take place in the following days and weeks. 

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

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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.

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

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.