Italy is a country that's known for having long holidays and for making family, rather than work, a priority. While it's not always true that Italians have the work-life balance all figured out (many Italian employees work long hours for low pay), employees in the country are entitled to a fairly generous number of holidays every year.
Here's what you'll get as an employee in Italy, and how the country's holidays compare to those in other European nations.
Obviously as an employee in Italy you're entitled to paid holiday time, and the very minimum allowance is four weeks – 20 days – a year. This is around the average among other European countries.
Many contracts, particularly for state employees, allow for 28 days, or five weeks, of paid leave per year. Employees on this type of contract have some of the longest holidays in Europe, alongside workers in the UK,, where the minimum allowance is 28 days.
Most Italian employees will also get up to 104 hours of Riduzione Orario di Lavoro (ROL), or working time reduction, annually. This is intended for things like going to the bank or taking a child to the doctor. However, unused ROL can often be put towards holiday time or used to get a Friday afternoon off work.
If you've spent much time in Italy you may have noticed that there are quite a few feste nazionali, or public holidays. In fact there are 12 in total, and while this is generous it's not the highest number in Europe.
As well as the obvious ones likes Christmas and Easter, Italy also takes Labour Day on May 1st as a holiday, as well as Liberation Day and various Catholic festivals. Some regions also take an extra day off to celebrate their local patron saint: in Rome, for instance, June 29th is a holiday in honour of St Peter and St Paul.
Most full-time employees are legally entitled to these days off work, and you'll notice that businesses in all but the biggest cities will close down on these dates.
If the public holiday happens to fall on a weekend, it's just your bad luck and you don't get any extra time off.
Here's a list of Italy's national public holidays in 2020:
New Year’s Day (Capodanno) – 01/01/2020
Epiphany (Epifania) – 06/01/2020
Easter Monday (Lunedì di Pasqua) – 13/04/2020
Liberation Day (Liberazione dal nazifascismo) – 25/04/2020
Labour Day (Festa del lavoro) – 01/05/2020
Republic Day (Festa della Repubblica) – 02/06/2020
Assumption of Mary (Assunzione di Maria) – 15/08/2020
All Saint’s Day (Ognissanti) – 01/11/2020
Immaculate Conception (Immacolata Concezione) – 08/12/2020
Christmas Day (Natale di Gesù) – 25/12/2020
St. Stephen’s Day (Santo Stefano) – 26/12/2020