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LIVING IN ITALY

The Italian holiday calendar for 2022

We said it last year and we'll say it again - hopefully 2022 will be a better year, but in terms of Italian public holidays and 'bridges' it's not looking too good. Here's why.

Cycling along the coast of Sicily. Not as many chances to do that mid-week in Italy in 2022.
Cycling along the coast of Sicily. Not as many chances to do that mid-week in Italy in 2022. Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP

Italy is fairly generous with its public holidays, with most months having at least one.

In total there are 11 annual public holidays written into Italian law, plus feast days for local patron saints.

But it’s not always as great as it sounds. All national holidays are taken on the day they fall on that year, rather than being moved to the nearest Monday as is the case in many other countries – this means that if the festival is on a Saturday or a Sunday, there is no extra day off.

This means that in Italy there are ‘good’ holiday years and ‘bad’ ones – and although 2022 isn’t a particularly good one, it’s still a (little bit) more generous than 2021.

Ironically, 2020 was a good year for holidays – although we were confined indoors for most of them.

If a bank holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, Italian employees make the most of it by “doing the bridge”.

Fare il ponte (‘to do the bridge’), if you don’t already know, is the practice of taking an extra day off when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday – or, if you’re particularly audacious, a Wednesday – instead of next to a weekend, in order to create one continuous break.

But 2022 doesn’t provide a whole load of opportunities to do this, either.

2022 holiday calendar

  • January 1, 2022 (New Year’s Eve): Saturday

  • January 6, 2022 (Epiphany): Thursday

  • April 17, 2022 (Easter Sunday): Sunday

  • April 18, 2022 (Easter Monday): Monday

  • April 25, 2022 (Liberation Day): Monday

  • May 1, 2022 (Labour Day): Sunday

  • June 2, 2022 (Republic Day): Thursday

  • August 15, 2022 (Ferragosto): Monday

  • November 1, 2022 (All Saints’ Day): Tuesday

  • December 8, 2022 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception): Thursday

  • December 25, 2022 (Christmas): Sunday

  • December 26, 2022 (Boxing Day): Monday

  • December 31, 2022 (New Year’s Eve): Saturday

2022 ‘bridges’

At first glance, 2022 doesn’t seem to be the best year for bank holidays as many of these dates fall on Sundays and Mondays (and weekend days aren’t transferred).

In fact, there are only three holidays where it is possible to fare il ponte – Epiphany on January 6th, Republic day on June 2nd and Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.

There are, however, three holidays that fall on a Friday or a Monday, making it possible to take an extra day and still create a four-day weekend – Liberation Day on April 25th, Ferragosto on August 15th and Boxing Day on December 26th. Easter Monday always falls on a Monday and instead change the dates from year to year.

  • Epiphany

The first possible ponte of the year is before the Feast of the Epiphany, which falls on Thursday January 6th, meaning many will probably take off the Friday 7th.

  • Easter and Easter Monday 2021

Easter and Easter Monday, in 2022, are on April 17th and 18th. So while we get a nice long weekend, there’s no opportunity for a bridge here.

  • Liberation Day and Labour Day

No bridges here either – In 2022: April 25th is a Monday, while May 1st is a Sunday and therefore no day off.

READ ALSO: Why does Italy celebrate Liberation Day on April 25th?

  • Republic Day

Republic Day falls on Thursday June 2nd. As the temperatures rise, no doubt many will be ‘doing the bridge’ this week.

  • Ferragosto

This year, the height of the summer holidays, August 15th, falls on a Monday. This means a paid day off work, but no doubt most people in Italy will be on holiday for a few weeks (or for the whole month) too.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about Ferragosto

  • All Saints and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

All Saints’ Day on November 1st gives us a Tuesday off, while the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Thursday December 8th) are both opportunities for a ‘bridge’.

  • Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve

Like 2021, there’s not much paid time off for Christmas as Christmas Day and Boxing Day (Santo Stefano) fall on a Sunday and Monday this year. Christmas Eve is not a national holiday. New Year’s Eve (San Silvestro) is on a Saturday, so no extra day off there.

Italian non-holiday holidays

There are also eight dates in Italy’s calendar that are considered official but not public holidays – meaning you don’t get a day off. They include National Unity Day on the first Sunday in November, the day of Italy’s patron saints Francesco and Caterina on October 4th, as well as the anniversary of the unification of Italy on March 17th.
 
That’s in addition to nearly 30 national and international days of commemoration or celebration that Italy recognizes, including Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27th), Europe Day (May 9th) and Christopher Columbus Day (October 12th). 
 
Unlike Italy’s 11 national public holidays, none of the above get you the 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 – 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.

READ ALSO: Why Italians have the ‘shortest working lives in Europe’

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 going 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.

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LIVING IN ITALY

What you need to know about microchipping your pet in Italy

Microchipping is required for all dogs in Italy, as well as for cats and ferrets kept as pets in certain circumstances. Here's what pet owners need to know.

What you need to know about microchipping your pet in Italy

Under Italian law, all dogs in the country must be identified and registered on a national database.

For dogs born before 2004, a clearly legible tattoo (e.g., on the dog’s ear) is accepted in lieu of a microchip. For those born after, microchips are the only accepted form of identification.

The chip should be inserted within two months of the dog’s birth; owners who miss this deadline could incur fines amounting to several hundred euros.

READ ALSO: From barking to cleaning: The culture shocks to expect if you own a dog in Italy

The chip is small – similar in width to a grain of rice and about twice as long – and is inserted just under the skin with a needle slightly thicker than that used for injections. It might cause minor discomfort in the moment, but shouldn’t hurt.

A microchip is not a GPS tracker, so can’t be used to find missing dogs – but it does contain key information about the dog as well as the owner’s contact details, allowing lost dogs to easily be reunited with their families.

The procedure can be performed by a vet from the local health authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale, or Asl) or an authorised independent vet. The cost varies between regions, but you’ll generally be charged around €10-25 at the Asl and €20-50 at a private practice.

Your vet will then enter your dog into the national registry with their microchip number and your tax code (codice fiscale). The registry entry will include mention of the dog’s name, gender, breed, size, age and colour, and the owner’s name, address, and telephone number.

READ ALSO: Moving to Italy with pets? Here’s what you need to know

If a dog gets a new owner, the national database should be updated within fifteen days of the transfer. Your vet will provide an ownership transfer form which should be signed by both the old and new owner and filled out with the new owner’s details.

Italy doesn’t have a blanket requirement for any pets other than dogs to be microchipped, but it’s still required in some circumstances.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Do renters in Italy have the right to keep pets?

Cats and ferrets kept as pets (as well as dogs) brought into Italy from outside the country must also be marked with a 15-digit ISO 11784/11785 compliant microchip, or with a clearly legible tattoo if it was applied before July 3rd, 2011.

If you’re resident in Italy and want to take your pet cat or ferret on holiday abroad, they’ll also need to be microchipped in order to receive a ‘pet passport’ to allow them to travel in and out of the country.

While Italy does not have national laws requiring cats to be microchipped, each region has its own rules – so you’ll want to check what the law is in your local area.

Lombardy, for example, made it obligatory on January 1st, 2020 for all cats in its territory born after that date to get chipped.

Regardless of whether it’s a legal requirement, many people opt to have their cat microchipped to make sure they stand the best chance of being reunited in case their pet wanders a little too far from home and loses their way.

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