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Epiphany: What's open and closed in Italy on January 6th?

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
Epiphany: What's open and closed in Italy on January 6th?
A pedestrian looks at a clothes store in central Rome in January 2018. Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

January 6th is a national public holiday in Italy, meaning that while some services may still be available to the public, albeit in a limited form, others may not. Here’s what you need to know.


Generally speaking, much of Italy tends to grind to a halt on public holidays and Epiphany, which falls on Saturday, January 6th this year, is no exception as some services may be significantly limited or, at times, even unavailable on the day. 

Here’s what you need to know if you’re spending Epiphany in the country this year.

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

Public transport

Most local public transport companies in the country will operate on a reduced timetable (also known as orari festivi) on January 6th.

But the quality and frequency of services during the day will vary significantly between rural and urban areas, as well as between cities.

Areas that are usually served by just the occasional bus could see stripped-to-the-bone services on Saturday. 

On the contrary, parts of the country that already have robust public transport networks will keep them fairly active.  

In most major cities, including Milan and Venice, daytime services will run on a relatively standard timetable, whereas a number of ‘minimum services’ (servizi minimi) will run in the late hours of the evening and at night. 



Much like public transport, regional and local trains around the country will also run on fairly reduced timetables on Epiphany, which is why passengers are strongly advised to check the holiday schedules of the relevant rail operator well in advance. 

These can usually be found on the operator’s website or on their social media channels.

As for interregional and long-distance trains, they will in most cases run on standard weekend timetables, which means you'll still find tens of high-speed services connecting major Italian cities around the country.

READ ALSO: Five clever ways to save money on train tickets in Italy

But, while you may not have any trouble finding a train from Venice to Milan or Milan to Florence, tickets won’t come cheap as fares are 20 percent more expensive on average during this year's winter holiday period, according to a survey from consumer group Federconsumatori.

Tourist attractions

Most state-run museums and archaeological sites will be open on Saturday.

But, if you’re planning on visiting a privately run gallery or collection, it may be advisable to check the winter holiday hours of the relevant venue or contact them directly.



Many supermarket chains around the country will have limited opening hours on Saturday. For instance, some may open around 9 in the morning and then close in the early or mid-afternoon hours.

Most minimarkets will remain completely closed instead. 


Most shops in non-urban areas will be closed on Saturday, whereas businesses in big cities around the country may open for either the morning only or the afternoon only.


Epiphany isn't as big a business opportunity as Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve for restaurants as most families in Italy tend to celebrate the occasion at home.

This means that many venues, even in big cities, will remain closed on Saturday.


As a rule of thumb, if you’re planning on dining out and have your sights on a particular restaurant in town, you may want to give them a ring or drop them a quick email beforehand just to avoid any unpleasant last-minute surprise.


Pharmacies in Italy operate a rota system during national holidays to ensure that at least one is open in each area. 

READ ALSO: Five tips to help you survive a trip to an Italian pharmacy

To find the nearest one, Google farmacia di turno plus the name of the comune you find yourself in.


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