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.