16 December 2011

Christmas shopping and antiques market in Venice

Here's a link to an article I wrote a couple of years ago about Christmas shopping in Venice. The only real change is that this year's antiques market in Campo San Maurizio runs from the 16th December (today) until the 18th. Stay tuned for more about winter in Venice...
> Christmas shopping in Venice

10 December 2011

Strikes in Italy

Many Italians aren't at all happy with the package of cuts proposed on their behalf by their new unelected leader Mario Monti. So December in Italy is likely to be disrupted by a number of strikes and possibly demonstrations. Although strikes are often threatened and do not always go ahead, travellers should be aware of the following provisional strike dates. This list contains all the relevant strike threats I've found mentioned, but it may not be comprehensive or updated.
- Monday 12 December: General strike of 3 hours or more involving several unions.
- Thursday 15 & Friday 16 December: Transport strike (check the website of any transport organisations relevant to your travels). Railways strike from 9pm on 15th for 24 hours; extra-urban transport likely to inflict 24 hour strikes on 15th, and local transport the same on the 16th, with certain peak-hour services operating. Also on the 16th, Milan Malpensa and Linate airport staff and Meridiana Fly staff will be on strike.
- Monday 19 December: State employees (which could include the staff of state-run museums), postal services
- 20 January - another local transport strike is scheduled

Wondering about the timing of Monday's strike? Well, the 8th of December is a public holiday, so many Italians will have taken the following day, Friday, off work for the traditional ponte 'bridge' or extended weekend. So a strike on Monday means that the long weekend can be extended still further....