Italy: Off days you’re entitled

Rome: 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 (Italian employees do often work very 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 ging 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.

Public holidays

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.

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, Ephiphany (Epifania) – 06/01/2020, Easter Monday – 13/04/2020, Liberation Day (Liberazione del 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 and St. Stephen’s Day (Santo Stefano) – 26/12/2020