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ITALIAN HOLIDAYS: A Quick Guide for Travelers

Here’s a month-by-month rundown of holidays in Italy. Holidays can affect store and museum closings, availability, prices, crowds and more. Use this list to plan your Italy trip, or to time your plans if you’re already here in Italia!

On public holidays in Italy, almost everything is closed. My list also includes cultural and religious holidays, when stores remain open, but watch out for availability and crowds (think Valentine’s Day in Verona, home to Romeo and Juliet). We also have an explanation of patron saint days, which are different in each city, and mean there are special events there, as well as store closings.

Every Sunday in Italy is considered a giorno festivo, or public holiday. Public offices are closed. Most shops and supermarkets are closed, except in large shopping centers and big city centers.


In Italy, a Catholic country, every town has a patron saint. The town celebrates its patron saint on the saint’s feast day, or patron saint day. The patron saint day is considered a public holiday in that city, and public offices, businesses, and schools are closed. Cities often celebrate the feast day with a festival and fireworks.

For example, Florence’s patron saint is Saint John (San Giovanni), whose feast day is June 24th. Businesses and public offices are closed, and the city celebrates with the calcio storico match during the day, and fireworks in the evening.

Milan’s patron saint is Saint Ambrose (Sant’Ambrogio), whose feast day is December 7. In Milan schools, public offices, and businesses are closed on December 7. 

Read more about Patron Saint Days in Italy.


Public holidays are called giorni festivi in Italian. On public holidays in Italy, shops, supermarkets, public offices, and schools are closed. Many museums and monuments are closed as well. Some restaurants and coffee bars may remain open, and in large cities with a lot of tourists, some shops may stay open in the center.

If you have your heart set on eating or drinking at a specific place on a public holiday, or visiting a specific museum, make sure to double check that it will be open.

This list also includes some cultural and religious holidays, when there are no closings, but local events and customs affect crowds and availability. For example, during carnival in Venice, accommodation is in high demand.


Public holidays:

  • January 1: New Year’s Day (Capodanno
  • January 6: Epiphany (La Befana, or L’Epifania)


Cultural and religious holidays:

  • February 14: Valentine’s Day (Festa di San Valentino)
  • The period leading up to Fat Tuesday: Carnival season (Carnevale)
    Schools in some Italian regions have a break for Carnival, and cities like Venice, Viareggio and Ivrea have large carnival celebrations. Milan’s Ambrosian carnival ends four days later than in the rest of Italy.
  • 47 days before Easter: Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras (Martedi grasso)


Cultural and religious holidays:

  • March 8: International Women’s Day (Festa della Donna
  • March 19: Saint Joseph’s Day/Italian Father’s Day (San Giuseppe/Festa del Papà)


Public holidays:

  • Between March 22 and April 25, on the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox): Easter Sunday (Pasqua)
  • The day after Easter Sunday: Easter Monday (Pasquetta)
  • April 25: Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione)


Public holidays:

  • May 1:  Labor Day/May 1st (Festa del Lavoro or Primo maggio)


Public holidays:

  • June 2: Republic Day (Festa della Repubblica



Public holidays:



Cultural and religious holidays:

  • October 31: Halloween (Halloween, pronounced AH-loh-een!)


Public holidays:

  • November 1: All Saints Day (Tutti i santi or Ognissanti)


Public holidays:

  • December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Consumption (Immacolata)
  • December 25: Christmas (Natale)
  • December 26: Saint Stephen’s Day (Santo Stefano): 
  • December 31: The feast of Saint Sylvester and New Year’s Eve (San Silvestro and L’ultimo dell’anno). It’s not a public holiday, but most shops close early.

Read my month-to-month guides to the best times to visit Italy, and the best times to visit Tuscany.