FYI for any tourists who will be in Rome the week of April 4, 2009 (it’s a Saturday) — there will be a massive nationwide demonstration by Cgil (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, Italian General Confederation of Labour) at the Circo Massimo in Rome. My advice would be to avoid this part of Rome for the day but expect crowds and greater difficulties getting around the city that weekend as thousands of visitors and demonstrators are expected to pour into the city. The union wants the government to make some pretty big reforms – if you’re interested in the details, go here. All in all it will most probably be a peaceful demonstration, but as a tourist it’s best to avoid large demonstrations. Might be a great time to spend outside of Rome on a day trip.
It might also be prudent to make sure that if you do plan to leave Rome that if you’re staying outside the city to make sure that the hotel you are staying at will be staffed (in case the workers there decide to head to Rome for the demonstration).
The union has arranged for special trains, buses and a boat to bring workers into the city so this will probably ensure that there’ll be a lot of foot and vehicle traffic all over Rome. If you haven’t booked your hotel or your place to stay, I suggest that you make haste as to avoid getting shut out by the demonstrations.