Italian in Italy


A Saints' Day celebration

Italians write a date in the order day/month/year, so 06.05.03 means 6 May 2003 not 5 June 2003 as in the American system. Holidays and vacations are much anticipated events, and frequently provide an occasion for a trip. Nearly all services and stores close on holidays. When visiting Rome in the days surrounding 15 August ( Ferragosto , the official start of the huge summer vacation exodus), tourists mainly find other tourists and very few Romans.

Many of Italy's holidays are associated with saints' days as set by the calendar of the Catholic church. Each city, town and village has a patron saint and that saint's day is cause for big celebrations. While huge parades and fireworks are the norm in large cities, villages and small towns still celebrate with the traditional local band and a procession that carries a statue of the particular saint throughout the town. After the processions, there is a traditional feast and dancing. These celebrations are well attended by residents of all the neighboring towns.

Significant Holidays in Italy

(h) signifies that there is no work that day.

January 1 New Year's Day (h)
January 6 The Epiphany
February 14 Valentine's Day
Later February/early March Carnevale
March 8 Woman's Day
March 19 Father's Day
Last Day before Lent Mardi Gras
Late March/early April Easter (h)
Day after Easter (h)
April 25 Liberation from the Germans
May 1 Labor Day (h)
May 13 Mother's Day
June 2 Proclamation of Italian Republic
August 15 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (h)
November 1 All Saints Day (h)
November 2 Day of the Dead
December 8 Immaculate Conception (h)
December 25 Christmas (h)
December 26 Feast of San Stefano (h)
December 31 New Year's Eve


  • Village Saint's Day Celebration
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