Time zone

What time is it in Italy ?

Italy is in the Central European Time (CET) Zone, 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and observes Daylight Saving Time: at the beginning of spring the clocks go forward an hour in order to take advantage of an extra hour of sunlight in the late afternoon/evening. At the beginning of autumn the clocks are shifted back an order to standard Central European Time.

What are the typical mealtimes in Italy ?

Italians usually have breakfast from 7.00 a.m. onwards. Hotels generally set a time (around 10.00 a.m.) after which breakfast may no longer be ordered. In restaurants, lunch is served from 12.30 to 2.30 p.m, and dinner between 19.30 and 23.00. These times are merely indicative, and may vary significantly, depending on the area of the country you are visiting: in the north they tend to be earlier, becoming later the further south you travel..

What are the shop opening hours ?

Shops are generally open from Monday to Saturday, from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 and from 3.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., although shopping centres and department stores often stay open all day, from 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 or 10.00 p.m. Shopping centres and stores are also open on several Sundays throughout the year.

Pharmacies have the same opening hours as shops, from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 and from 3.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.; in the larger cities, some pharmacies are open 24 hours. For emergencies during the night, or when the pharmacies are normally closed, a number of them remain open, on a rotational basis. A calendar listing the nearest one open can be found on the doors of all local pharmacies. 

National public holidays

There are 12 national holidays on the Italian calendar: 

1 January - New Year's Day 
6 January - Epiphany, 
Easter Sunday (date varies from year to year)   
Easter Monday (the day after Easter Sunday) 
25 April - Anniversary of the Liberation   
1 May - Labour Day 
2 June -Republic Day 
15 August - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( Ferragosto ) 
1 November - All Saints Day 
8 December - Immaculate Conception 
25 December - Christmas Day 
26 December - Boxing Day

Local holidays and festivities

The local patron saint's day is generally a local public holiday: offices are closed and a range of events and markets are held. Below is a list of the patron saints of the capital cities of the Italian regions:

29 January - San Costanzo, Perugia (Umbria) 
23 April - San Giorgio, Campobasso (Molise) 
25 April - San Marco, Venice (Veneto) 
4 May - San Ciriaco of Jerusalem, Ancona (Marche) 
9 May and 6 December - San Nicola, Bari (Apulia) 
30 May - San Gerardo, Potenza (Basilicata) 
10 June - San Massimo d'Aveia, L'Aquila (Abruzzo) 
24 June - San Giovanni, Genoa (Liguria) 
24 June - San Giovanni, Florence (Tuscany) 
24 June - San Giovanni, Turin (Piedmont) 
26 June - San Vigilio, Trent (Trentino) 
29 June - San Pietro, Rome (Lazio) 
15 July - Santa Rosalia, Palermo (Sicily) 
16 July- San Vitaliano, Catanzaro (Calabria) 
7 September - San Grato, Aosta (Aosta Valley) 
19 September - San Gennaro, Naples (Campania) 
11 luglio - Santa Rosalia, Palermo (Sicilia) 
4 October - San Petronio, Bologna (Emilia Romagna) 
30 October - San Saturnino, Cagliari (Sardinia) 
3 November - San Giusto, Trieste (Friuli Venezia Giulia) 
7 December- Sant'Ambrogio, Milan (Lombardy)