But what does that mean for travellers? Will trains be running? Are shops and restaurants open? And where is there to go for fun things to do?
It's technically called "La Festa dei Lavori" - Workers' Day - but most people just call it "primo maggio" - May 1st. It's been a traditional "bank holiday" in Italy since the 1800s as a celebration of workers' rights.
In some parts of the country, mainly in the more industrialised north - Milan and Turin especially - you'll find workers' marches or parades.
In most other places, though, it's regarded as a holiday to be enjoyed with family, friends - and an open-air picnic.
Public transport - trains and buses - will be working to a limited timetable. Check locally for details. Taxis in the cities are available, but often not as many as usual, and those that are around are in high demand.
Try to make your plans around May Day. Don't travel unless you have no choice - stay where you are and enjoy relaxing for the day.
You'll find all banks, post offices, schools and public buildings are closed on May Day. ATMs (also known as cash machines / "holes in the wall") of course are open, but fairly frequently run out of cash. So be prepared - make sure you do your banking in April!
Shops and restaurants are more unpredictable. Previously, almost everything was closed on May Day - it was considered a day of rest.
Now, though, even in the more out-of-the-way places, more businesses remain open to cater to holiday-makers and tourists.
Italian families and friends tend to get together and, weather permitting, go out for a picnic. Go near any Italian park on May Day and you'll find tables (always dressed with a tablecloth, of course!) laden with food and drink, and families relaxing and having fun.
It can be a really great experience to join them. Take your own picnic and find a green spot, wherever you are.
As with most other places in Italy, public transport does run on May Day but to a limited service. Taxis are available all day as usual.
You'll find lots of conflicting information on websites and forums about what's open and what's closed in Rome on 1 May. Here's the real story.
Rome is absolutely packed on May Day. The city is a popular venue for young people going to the country's largest open-air concert.
It's an ideal time to slow down, stop trying to see all the sights in a mad rush from one to the other and instead, enjoy stepping back and simply "being" in this amazing city.
If you want to spend time in the company of thousands (and thousands) of young Italian people, the church of San Giovanni Laterano - St John Lateran - is the place to be.
Every year, a huge stage is erected to the side of the church and a free concert is held in the square in front. It features mainly Italian artists and the music ranges from country to hip-hop to indie, rock to folk to reggae.
What's it got to do with May Day? It's organised by Italy's major unions, and there's often a vaguely labour-related theme like "Together we can make a difference", but actually it's more a celebration of the arrival of Spring, and a good day out.
Watch out for posters in Rome near the time; generally the concert starts at around 2pm and carries on until midnight. But this is Italy - times may not be exact. And bear in mind that the roads around the church will be closed so you won't get public transport to take you right up to the site. Be prepared to walk.
Is this for you? If you're young and have lots of energy - definitely. If you're not, but want to experience the exuberance of an Italian crowd - absolutely.
If you like peace and quiet - stay away!
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