SCIOPERO! What to do when there’s a strike in Rome.

SCIOPERO. The word makes me shiver whenever I hear it. Traffic. Chaos. The entire public transportation system thrown into question. Flights delayed or cancelled. No taxis to get around. It sounds like a nightmare, but a strike in Rome, as all around Italy – it is a very real problem. It’s also very common.

If you happen to be in Rome when there is a strike, or know there is a strike planned for one of the day’s you’ll be visiting – it pays to plan ahead. We’re proud to present some of our time-tested tips and resources for surviving a strike in Rome.

Strike in Rome
A bus on strike in Rome.

STEP 1: First, find out if there will be a strike in Rome (or anywhere else)

The go-to official source to find out about strikes on both the National & Local level is the Commission for the Guarantee of Strikes. Great name, right?

Unfortunately, the website is only in Italian. However, that’s what Google Translate is for – here is a link to the page translated into English. That one is for strikes at the National level. For strikes in the Lazio region (of which Rome is part) you’ll have to select the region on the Map of Italy. You’ll find this on the right hand side of the page. Lazio is smack-dab in the middle of the peninsula, on the west coast.

For an even more complete list of Transport strikes check out this list from the Ministry of Transport & Infrastructure.  The list also includes company-related strikes, but these can be filtered out.

You might be taken aback by the sheer number of strikes. Don’t be. Most of them don’t affect travelers. Look for any strikes having to do with trains, taxis, or airports – anything transportation related. : An english-language source that open posts strike information.

If this seems like too much work, just ask your hotel, airline company or tour company. It is their job to be informed. They will be able to help you understand how the strike might affect you.

STEP 2: Next, find out the exact hours planned for the strikes

While strikes in Rome might seem like chaotic events, they are actually very organized. This is because all transport strike will follow very specific rules for when the strikes will go into effect, how long they will last and what a worker should do if they are already in service when a strike begins.  If you know when a strike begins and ends you can plan your travel around these times.  You can usually find this information on the above links.

strike in rome
Graffiti stating “Today I will get up, and strike.”

STEP 3: Contact your Airline, Rail Company & Tour Companies

Once you know when and where a strike will take place, the only way to know how specific parts of your journey will be affected is to give your hotel, airline company, train company or tour company a call. They are usually well prepared to give you specific answers about how a strike might affect the services you have booked with them.

Cancelled Trains during a strike in Rome
Cancelled trains during a strike in Rome.

STEP 4: Finally, Have a back up plan.

On a day where taxi or transport (or both!) strikes are expected, it’s best to plan to get around on foot. As a result, general traffic on those days is usually unbearable, therefore even using whatever method of transportation is available to you — you can expect to sit in traffic for extended periods of time. Don’t plan any big trips for the day. If you must travel, try UBER, a bike or a car rental.

On days where train strikes are expected, you might find knowing that the State Railroad company usually has a series of “guaranteed” train departures useful.


Did you find this post useful? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments box below.


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