A revolution is taking place across Europe and Italy is the latest country to follow. Populist anti-immigrant parties are coming to fore. We explore the rise of the Five Star movement and the League who came to government in June 2018. The new government includes the League’s head and interior minister Matteo Salvini who has made his mark by turning back migrants in Italian waters and calling for the end of the Euro.
What are the implications for the rest of Europe? The tour includes Milan, Italy’s business hub, rural areas and ends in the splendor of Rome.
|DATES||2020 – Dates tbc|
The tour is led by the Italian based reporter, author and amateur football player, Tobias Jones.
Single supplement: £tbc
Single Supplement: £tbc
Sunday, 5th May: Milan
Our journey starts in Milan, Italy’s business hub and also home to the headquarters of what was called the Northern League. An introduction to the week ahead with our expert.
Monday, 6th May: Milan
Until recently Matteo Salvini led a small separatist party with just 4 % of the vote – now it is the major coalition partner in government. Milan is where Salvini began this transformation. Anti-Immigration and opposition to the EU have been the cornerstones of his campaign. We look at Milan’s relationship with both, as working class voters have abandoned the left. We also look at how the government of Silvio Berlusconi, as well as his media ownership paved the way for a more populist brand of politics.
Tuesday, 7th May: Milan to Bologna
Populism has shaken the Italian establishment to its core notably in a city known as a centre for business and finance. The coalition has approved a budget that has breached the EU’s agreed limits, and is making increasingly critical noises about the Euro. We visit the bourse, headquartered in Milan, as well as Italy’s leading financial newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore. A leading industrialist explains his concerns. An international statesman looks at the split with Europe. In the afternoon we take the train to Bologna (1 hour).
Wednesday, 8th May: Bologna
Bologna is best known as a bastion of leftist support and a centre of learning. But our morning starts outside the city in the neighbouring town of Predappio where the cult of Mussolini is thriving and pilgrims can be seen giving fascist salutes. Is Italy really ready to embrace neo-Fascist politics? Back in Bologna a leading academic analyses the possibilities. We look at Salvini’s mastery of social media and his skillful mix of authoritarian and affectionate language. At Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies we examine the implications for the rest of Europe.
Thursday, 9th May: Rome
The last two days of the tour are spent meeting leading analysts and politicians in the capital.
After breakfast we take the train to Rome (2 hours). In Rome too there are increasing signs of the ultra-right spreading their message – from new political movements, to graffiti daubed on the walls. Where is all of this heading? Some worry that Salvini could pursue a more authoritarian agenda like Hungary’s Victor Orban. Much depends on the League’s partners in any future coalition. Dinner in Rome.
Friday, 10th May: Rome
Much of the tension between the new government and Brussels is over public spending. A member of the ruling coalition puts forward their case. Can Italy sustain such a large debt – with it’s conflicting priorities of lower taxation and increased benefits – one think tank doubts it and says the implications for the Euro could be profound. Foreign diplomats give their take – could a founding member of the European Union advocate a looser more flexible union? We review the week over dinner.
Saturday, 11th May: Rome
Tour Ends after breakfast
Book Your Tour
Dates: 2020 – Dates tbc
Cost £tbc Single supplement £tbc
The tour will start in Milan and end in Rome
All of your accommodation and meals with water are included, as well as local transport (except during your free time). Flights are not included in the price and need to be arranged by customers themselves or with an agent.
Following the news
Like all our tours the itinerary is focused on current affairs. Events on the ground may change and the final schedule may be adjusted accordingly.
As on all our expert-led tours the groups are deliberately small and will not exceed 14 people. Frequently we travel with 10-12 people. Limited spaces are available.
Italy is a member of the European Union (EU) and part of the Schengen Convention. US, Australian and New Zealand travellers do not need a visa if they are staying less than 90 days but passports must have a six month validity from the planned return date.
Daytime temperatures in Milan and Rome will range from mid to high 20s Centigrade (C) (70-80 Fahrenheit (F)), with overnight temperatures dropping by around 5-10 C (55-65 F). It is advisable to wear sunscreen.
There is no particular dress code for Italy. Men: Will need a jacket and tie for some of the meetings. Women: You will need some smarter attire for one or two meetings.
FCO Website – Travel Advice
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure. Where it considers it appropriate to do so, the FCO may advise against all travel or all but essential travel to particular countries or parts of particular countries. Similarly, the FCO may withdraw any such previously given advice. Where the FCO issues such advice, we may as a result cancel your tour or make changes so as to avoid the area concerned (see clause 10). Alternatively, we may ask you to sign a form confirming you wish to proceed with the tour notwithstanding the FCO advice. It is in the nature of the itineraries we offer that the FCO may have issued such advice in relation to the country or parts of the country we are intending to visit prior to confirmation of your booking. In this case, you will be asked to sign the above form before we confirm your booking.
Advice on health requirements may be obtained from your GP, or alternatively from the Department of Health leaflet Advice on Health for Travelers, or the Department of Health in the UK. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx
It is also useful to travel with medications for traveller’s tummy – like imodium, probiotics and rehydration sachets.
We suggest you visit your own doctor or local travel clinic who will have the most up-to-date travel advice, and be able to recommend any vaccinations prior to travel based on your medical history.
Currency is Italy is the Euro.
Electricity supply is 230 volts, 2 round pin European plugs.
Wifi is available in all hotels, as well as many coffee shops and restaurants.
International Passenger Protection Insurance (IPP)
All our travel arrangements are covered by the UK’s package tour regulations and are financially guaranteed. We are a land-only tour operator and flights are not included.
Tobias Jones is the author of four works of non-fiction, including the bestselling The Dark Heart of Italy and Blood on the Altar and three crime novels set in Italy.
He has written and presented various documentaries for the BBC and for RAI, the Italian state broadcaster, and co-founded the Windsor Hill Wood community – the subject of his seventh book, A Place of Refuge.
A former columnist for the Observer and Internazionale, he writes regularly for the British, American and Italian press. He plays football for the England writers football team, and has taught writing and journalism at a variety of universities, prisons and charities.
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Tobias Jones; The Dark Heart of Italy
John Foot; The Archipelago
David Lane; Berlusconi’s Shadow
Barbie Latza Nadeau; The Roadmap to Hell
Tobias Jones; Blood on the Altar
Paul Ginsborg; Italy and its Discontents
R.J.B.Bosworth; Mussolini’s Italy
Christopher Duggan; The Force of Destiny
Alexander Stille; The Sack of Rome
Paolo Berizzi; Nazitalia (In Italian)
The Fascist Movement that has brought Musolini back to the mainstream
By Tobias Jones
An unsolved murder at Italy’s most notorious tower-block
By Tobias Jones