Major Protests in Rome and in Italy

If you plan to be in Rome the next week or two, expect major disruptions around the city as the residents, mainly students, teachers, university professors and others, hold protests against the changes to the Italian education system of Mariastella Gelmini, Italy’s Education Minister. Gelmini has proposed some drastic changes to the way in which Italian students are educated (segregating immigrant students from Italian students and teaching them in separate classrooms, possible teacher cuts, etc.), and this has prompted a flurry of anger among teachers, students, parents and hundreds of thousands of others.

What does this mean to you, the traveler to Rome? The protests have at times stopped public transport and disrupted train schedules. Demonstrations have been peaceful with no violence, but it is important that as travelers that one does not get involved with the demonstrations. If you’re staying in a hotel, check with the hotel staff about possible disruptions around the city. As with many demonstrations, other unions in Rome and around Italy may strike in sympathy.

Be prepared for disruptions and be flexible with your travel plans should they be disrupted.