My husband, 2-year-old, and I leave for Florence tonight. We plan to spend one night in Florence and will then rent a car for a week in an apartment in the countryside outside Montepulciano. I've been reading about the anti-austerity strikes in Italy yesterday and am wondering if anyone in Italy now is able to tell me how (if at all) the protests/strikes might affect our travel plans. Thanks!
Chris, I'm not in Italy now, but I suspect you won't have any problems with Anti-Austerity Protests or Strikes in the "countryside outside Montepulciano". The strikes that have taken place so far have all occurred in larger cities AFAIK (Rome, Athens, Lisbon, Madrid and I believe Torino). In my experience, these type of events tend to take place in locations where: (a) There are enough people to form a large group, and (b) Places that are likely to have lots of media coverage. Happy travels!
I was in Italy last summer during some protests, which are easy enough to avoid by just picking another street. They are not usually spontaneous, so there is a police presence, a megaphone, some chanting, some percussion instruments, and sometimes balloons.
I just returned from Italy yesterday. We saw a couple of protest parades in Rome on Wednesday. Everything was fairly peaceful where we were (tourist areas) and the protest only lasted a few hours. Everything was back to normal after noon. In Florence, you will be able to walk everywhere you need to go. Even if there is a protest parade, you can walk through it to the other side of the street to get where you are going. The ones in Rome were pretty tame.