Surviving an Airport Strike in Italy

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Last week travelers were affected by an airport strike in Italy.. So what’s new, right? Strikes in Italy are commonplace, part of the lifestyle. They can occur with all modes of transportation, and they do, on a regular basis.

Rome Termini Train Station Photo by Margie MiklasDuring my travels  I have personally been affected by taxi, bus, and train strikes in Italy. And in Venice, even a vaporetto strike.

Vaporetto in Venice Photo by Margie MiklasIn Italy these limited work stoppages usually last from 4-24 hours, and are generally posted in advance. They can be a nuisance, but it pays to be flexible.

SITA bus in Amalfi Photo by Margie MiklasThese scheduled strikes, called scioperi in Italian, are publicized in advance so if you’re planning to travel  to Italy, it would be wise to google Italy transportation strikes and check whether any of your travel plans may be affected. This is the  official page in Italian. To make things easier, this is the best site in English: Easy Travel Report. Just click on “Italian strikes” to get to the Italy section. It;s pretty easy.

I have also learned that usually, on days when strikes are held, Trenitalia will guarantee minimum transport services. Many times, if you ask a local, they will know.

This recent article posted on  Euronews   includes some great information and details on how to survive Italian airport strikes. And social media usually is the frst place to find updated information. The Twitter sites of the major carriers usually post the latest updates so during a strike, they can be a good source of information.

I didn’t realize that you may be entitled to compensation if your flight is delayed. According to this recent article in The Telegraph, “if you are departing from an EU airport on any airline, or arriving at an EU airport on an EU carrier (this includes Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) you are entitled to care and compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004 for a delayed arrival time of more than two hours.”

Sometimes, though, the train station personnel are not  updated so quickly on small regional train strikes, so it can be chaotic. And one time, I just arrived in Salerno by train in the evening.

 Roma Sciopero trasporti sciopero fermata autobus metro trasporti (EIDON) (Agenzia: EIDON) (NomeArchivio: PHPIMrf4.JPG)
Photo by Wanted in Rome

My plan was to take the bus to Amalfi. When I approached the bus area, the bus was there, but it was dark. I walked into the train station and found a travel information office. While waiting my turn, I was anticipating having to take a taxi, which would likely have cost around 80 to 100 euros.

Luck was  on my side because the kind woman at the information desk told me that the bus was just getting ready to leave. The strike was over. So sometimes things do work out. Don’t let a strike ruin all your plans. You never know in Italy. Flexibility is the name of the game, and it is always good to have a back-up plan.

Santa Maria Maggiore Church in Rome Photo by Margie MiklasHave you been affected by a strike in Italy? I’d love to her your feedback, so please share your story in the comments.

Grazie and Ciao

You may want to read about some of my personal experiences with transportation strikes in Italy in my first book, Memoirs of a Solo Traveler – My Love Affair with Italy.

Memoirs of a Solo Traveler
My Love Affair with Italy

Winner of the 2014 Royal Palm Literary Award
by the Florida Writers Association

Memoirs of a Solo Traveler- My Love Affair with ItalyAvailable on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. Click on book to purchase. Also available on Amazon UK. Click here to purchase.

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses

  1. dollygoolsby

    Yes, I have been affected by scioperi in Italy..Never an airport strike, but train and bus strikes; one time in Florence, all the transports were on strike: taxis, buses and trains. Quite confusing, until I learned that the strikes are posted in advance, so one learns to be flexible. Just another cultural experience.

  2. pamcarey

    Good information to have, especially a site in English for Italian strikes. Thanks, Margie! Hope to see you soon.

  3. Don’t try to organize anything when you in Italy, The game ishow to survive in unexpected conditions, Even don’t trust that anything is not working at all because you can find with surprise that something is running good. Anyway when in Italy forget your stereotypes: things could be worse or even better than you thought. Be prepared and stoic!

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