Italian in Italy


A clock on the front of a building

In Italy, the 24 hour clock is used for any official documentation of time, such as public transportation schedules, television listings, official schedules of any kind, and for any written reference to time. When speaking of time, however, the 12 hour clock is used, in which case one simply specifies whether one is speaking of morning or evening.

When attending social gatherings, Italians have a relaxed sense of time. If one is attending a larger gathering, there is a grace period of up to one half hour before one is considered rude and late. When meeting a friend, one should not be more than fifteen minutes late. Punctuality is the rule for business appointments.