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Italian Time


Being located in the Middle European time zone, Italy follows a GMT+1 time setting. Daylight savings time (GMT+2) is usually imposed between March and September.

Dates are commonly written using the day, month & year format - e.g. 15th October 2005.

Dinner in Italy is set after 8 PM. Italians rarely have their evening meal earlier than this time.

Italians are less punctual than other nationalities, but the business people do make sure that schedules and itineraries are followed on the dot. Appointments are most conveniently booked late in the morning (10:00 to 11:00) or after 3:00 PM.

In social gatherings, arriving half an hour late is still considered socially acceptable. Italians always set time for social occasions, in spite of work. Spending leisure hours would often mean indulging in art, films or plays; or having fun in bars and bistros; or taking a trip to the countryside; or even singing in a church choir. Many Italians also enjoy their evenings watching a lot of television, a habit that is most familiar to Americans rather than Europeans.

Saturdays are always busy in Italy. During Saturdays, people of every age swarm the streets to see and be seen. Saturdays also mean gatherings over a big lunch, shopping, or just simply enjoying the afternoon with friends and family.

The weekend in the middle of July 28th and August 3rd is when everyone goes on holiday. Expect airports, train stations and major roads to be jam packed full of people.

Italian time is all about relaxation. Even a routine task like reading the morning paper can turn into a delightful experience, especially when one is doing this in a sunny piazza, with a steamy cappuccino in hand.

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