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Other Info

Religion

The most common religion in Italy is Christianity with various confessions that include almost all believers. Most Italian Christians are Catholic but there are minorities of Orthodox, Protestant and other Christian denominations, such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. The Jewish religion is the oldest of those present in Italy, with a widespread community still living in the country, especially in Rome. Islam also has a large number of the faithful: it is the second-largest religion by number of believers. There are also followers of Asian cults; the most common among Italians is Buddhism.

Places of Worship

Freedom of religious worship is a principle guaranteed by the Italian Constitution. Whatever your faith, and especially in large cities, you will find not only churches but also mosques, synagogues and other places of worship. If you visit a place of prayer to appreciate its architectural and artistic wonders, please maintain respectful behaviour, especially during services.

Holidays

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Italy has 12 national holidays, days when most of the country's production activities stop, with public and private offices closed. Some museums and cultural sites have closing days to coincide with certain holidays: enquire before planning your visit. Bars, pastry shops, ice cream parlours and restaurants remain open. In conjunction with certain annual events, local fairs or markets are set up and absolutely should not be missed. The "Christmas markets" are famous, especially in Northern Italy, while living nativity scenes are particularly common in the South.

These are the dates:

1 January - New Year's Day

6 January - Epiphany

Easter (date varies from year to year)

Easter Monday (the day after Easter)

25 April - Anniversary of the Liberation

1 May - Labour Day

2 June - Republic Day

15 August - Assumption of the Virgin Mary (National August Holiday)

1 November - All Saints Day

8 December - Immaculate Conception

25 December - Christmas Day

LOCAL HOLIDAYS AND PATRON SAINT FESTIVALS

In many cities, the patron saint's day is a public holiday. Offices and businesses may be closed but you can take advantage of an opportunity to witness often fascinating and animated celebrations.

29 January - San Costanzo, Perugia (Umbria)

23 April - San Giorgio, Campobasso (Molise)

25 April - San Marco, Venice (Veneto)

4 May - San Ciriaco of Jerusalem, Ancona (Marches)

9 May and 6 December - San Nicola, Bari (Apuiia)

30 May - San Gerardo, Potenza (Basilicata)

10 June - San Massimo d'Aveia, L'Aquila (Abruzzo)

24 June - San Giovanni, Genoa (Liguria)

24 June - San Giovanni, Florence (Tuscany)

24 June - San Giovanni, Turin (Piedmont)

26 June - San Vigilio, Trento (Trentino)

29 June - San Pietro & Paolo, Rome (Latium)

15 July - Santa Rosalia, Palermo (Sicily)

16 July - San Vitaliano, Catanzaro (Calabria)

7 September - San Grato, Aosta (Aosta Valley)

19 September - San Gennaro, Naples (Campania)

4 October - San Petronio, Bologna (Emilia Romagna)

30 October - San Saturnino, Cagliari (Sardinia)

3 November - San Giusto, Trieste (Friuli Venezia Giulia)

7 December - Sant'Ambrogio, Milan (Lombardy)