Festa delle Donne marked by women abstaining from work.
Women across Italy are striking from work, as well as abstaining from university classes and household chores, on 8 March, International Women's Day.
The move is part of a worldwide Day Without Women campaign, taking place in around 40 countries, calling for greater rights for women, protesting against domestic violence, and highlighting women's contribution to society.
Most of Italy's trade unions are involved in some way or another in the action, which involves both public and private sector workers and is expected to affect public transport, flights, schools and hospitals.
Despite the revival of the slogan used by Italian feminists in the 1970s – Basta mimosa e cioccolatini (Enough of the mimosa and chocolates) – Italy's florists predict a bumper year with expected sales of 12 million sprigs of the bright yellow mimosa flower, the traditional gift to women on Festa delle Donne.