( BBC ) - Italian transport unions are striking for eight hours in protest at plans to cut government spending on transport.
Most train, air, sea ferry and bus services are affected by the strike and millions of Italians are expected to walk to work or take the day off.
The transport closures are the most extensive seen in Italy in recent years, according to the BBC's Rome correspondent David Willey.
Rome is experiencing additional chaos because of a strike by taxi drivers.
The drivers are protesting against a decision by Rome's city council to issue some 500 new taxi licences.
The authorities say the move will address growing demand for taxis but the drivers argue it will threaten their livelihoods.
Taxi drivers refused to pick up passengers at Rome's main transport terminals on Thursday and hundreds of their vehicles were parked illegally in the city centre, disrupting traffic.
The broader transport strike is being called in protest at the government's plans to cut funding for transport in the 2008 budget.
Unions are also protesting over plans to sell the loss-making state airline, Alitalia.
The strike was announced late on Wednesday after the collapse of talks with the government.
The negotiations "did not produce a solution to public transport problems", transport union chief Claudio Claudiani said, in a statement quoted by Reuters news agency.