Italy celebrates Labour Day with holiday on 1 May

Rome's Concertone del Primo Maggio moves to digital format in 2020.

Italy celebrates Labour Day - known as the Festa dei Lavoratori or Festa del Lavoro - with a nationwide public holiday on Friday 1 May.

The holiday is normally marked in Rome with a large, free May Day concert however this year - due to the coronavirus emergency - the annual "concertone" will not take place in Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano.

Instead the concert will move to television and radio, with live and pre-recorded performances being screened on Rai3 and on Radio2.

The 2020 line-up includes Sting, Patti Smith, Vasco Rossi, Gianna Nannini, Zucchero, Irene Grandi, Alex Britti, Le Vibrazioni, Leo Gassmann, and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia.

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Most of the performances will take place in the completely empty Sala Sinopoli at the Auditorium Parco della Musica.

Organisers say they didn't want to cancel the concert, which celebrates its 30th edition this year, telling news agency ANSA: "It will certainly be a unique event, which we hope not to repeat. Next year we want to go back to the piazza."

The televised concert will show live footage from Bologna, Florence, Milan and Naples, with plans for a symbolic link to the empty Piazza S. Giovanni in Rome.

The theme of the 2020 concertone, supported by trade unions CGIL, CISL and UIL, is Il lavoro in Sicurezza: per Costruire il Futuro (Work in Safety: to Build the Future).

Photo Bellacanzone