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Calendar: How to make the most of Italy's public holidays in 2024

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Calendar: How to make the most of Italy's public holidays in 2024
Italy has 11 national holidays - but with a little creativity, you can stretch them out for longer. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP.

Italy gets a good number of public holidays, but they sometimes fall on a weekend.


Italy is known for having a generous number of public holidays, with 11 - the highest number of any EU country other than Austria, which has 13. 

This number could rise to 12 from 2024, under plans recently announced by the government.

There's also a local holiday for the patron saints of cities (for instance St Ambrose in Milan, St Mark in Venice, St John in Florence, etc.) which may also mean a day off work for some.

READ ALSO: Why do Milan residents get a day off on December 7th?

But, as Italians might say, ‘non è tutto oro quel che luccica’ (all that glitters is not gold). All national holidays in Italy are taken on the day they fall on that year rather than being moved to the nearest Monday, as is the case in some countries including the UK.

This means that if a certain holiday is on a Saturday or a Sunday, there's no extra day off.

It also means that there are ‘good’ holiday years and ‘bad’ ones, and while 2024 isn't quite as bad as 2022, when four public holidays fell on a weekend, residents still forfeit three days off: Epiphany, which falls on a Saturday, and Republic Day and the Feast of Immaculate Conception, which both fall on a Sunday.

Three of Italy's public holidays in 2024 will fall on a weekend.

Three of Italy's public holidays in 2024 will fall on a weekend. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP.

2024 holiday calendar

  • January 1, 2024 (New Year’s Day): Monday
  • January 6, 2024 (Epiphany): Saturday
  • April 1, 2024 (Easter Monday): Monday
  • April 25, 2024 (Liberation Day): Thursday
  • May 1, 2024 (Labour Day): Wednesday
  • June 2, 2024 (Italian Republic Day): Sunday
  • August 15, 2024 (Ferragosto): Thursday
  • November 1, 2024 (All Saints’ Day): Friday
  • December 8, 2024 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception): Sunday
  • December 25, 2024 (Christmas Day): Wednesday
  • December 26, 2024 (St Stephen’s Day): Thursday

Christmas Eve (December 24th) and New Year’s Eve (December 31st) are not official public holidays in Italy, but many companies do give their staff both days off as a gesture of goodwill. 

2024 ‘bridges’ and long weekends

Whether or not a certain year is a good one for holidays also depends on the number of ‘bridges’ available.

For the uninitiated, fare il ponte (‘to do the bridge’) is the time-honoured Italian tradition of taking an extra day off when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday – the most audacious might do this with a Wednesday holiday too – to create an extra-long weekend.


2024 provides three opportunities to do this: one for Liberation Day, falling on Thursday, April 25th, one for Ferragosto, on Thursday, August 15th, and one for Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day, which next year fall on a Wednesday and Thursday, providing the opportunity for a bumper five-day long weekend.

Meanwhile three of next year's public holidays fall on either a Monday or a Friday, giving residents three three-day weekends.

Liberation Day in Rome

Italy's Frecce Tricolori jets fly over Rome on April 25th, Italy's Liberation Day. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

Italian non-holiday holidays

There are seven dates in Italy’s calendar that are considered official but not public holidays, meaning you don’t get a day off. 

These are known as 'solennità civili' (civil feasts) and include the day of Italy’s patron saints Francesco and Caterina on October 4th, and the anniversary of the unification of Italy on March 17th.

Italy's National Unity Day on the first Sunday of November is also on this list, though the government has said it plans to reinstate it as a public holiday from 2024.

That’s in addition to nearly 30 national and international days of commemoration or celebration that Italy recognises, including Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27th), Europe Day (May 9th) and Christopher Columbus Day (October 12th). 

As with the solennità civili, none of these will get you a day off.


Other holidays

If you’re an employee in Italy, you’re entitled to paid holiday time, and the very minimum allowance is four weeks (or 20 days) a year – that’s 18 days fewer than in Austria, which leads the EU pack in minimum paid leave.

That said, many Italian contracts, particularly those for state employees, allow for five weeks (or 25 days) of paid leave per year. 

By law, employees must take at least two weeks of paid leave in a row, and all paid leave accumulated over the course of a year must be taken within 18 months from the end of that year.


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