Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Travel Tip for Italy

It may seem like a really simple piece of advice but knowing ahead of time the day of rest or "giorno di riposo" of stores in Italy is very important for the traveler. There is nothing worse than finding everything closed down in a town you had planned on spending the afternoon in. In Italy every week stores, pharmacies, bakeries, etc close a half day. Depending on the town you are in, this day of the week is different.
For instance here in Chiusi all the grocery stores are closed Wednesday afternoons except the big grocery store called PAM in the shopping center (Etrusco). This shopping center is almost adjacent to the Chiusi freeway exit. All the other stores are closed Monday afternoons and everything is closed on Sundays. Remember also that everything is closed during lunch hours and very few stores have "orari continuati" or open during lunch interval. So that means stores are open from 9 am to 1 pm and then reopen at 5pm to 8 pm. Banks are open from 8:30 am to 1 pm and then reopen from 2:30 pm to 3:45 pm. They are closed on Saturdays too. You really need a calendar to write and remember all these hours!
The stores in larger cities of Milan,Rome and Florence may or may not adhere to this because of huge tourist traffic. Usually if there is a sagra or town festival like Eurochocolate (Perugia, 19-26 October) all the stores stay open to accomodate visitors.
In any case it is a good idea to do your homework beforehand and contact the city hall or "comune" of the town you will be visiting to find out when everything is shut down. Hope this helps!

1 comment:

travelgirl said...

Thanks for the helpful info on business hours for shops & the like in Italy!