It’s Christmas time, and Italy almost stops.
To make business with Italy you should learn the Italian calendar and what vacations mean in our country.
And you have to learn the meaning of the word “ponte” (literary bridge) in our culture.
Let’s start with the industry. Italian workers are lucky from the vacation point of view.
The starting point is 22 days. That’s the minimum days of vacation any worker gets in a year. Then every years more days are added on top.
So we have to spend more than 20 days of vacation every year, that means more than 4 weeks, about one month.
That’s not enough: we have 12 days of bank holidays during the year.
Quite a lot !
And the distribution of these days are the pillar for building our… bridges…
What’s a bridge? A potential extension of a vacation.
Let’s take last week. In Milan we had two bank holidays: Wednesday Dec 7th, the feast of Saint Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan, which is a day off for our city, and Thursday Dec 8th, the feast of Our Lady which is a day off in all the country.
Now here the pillars: Sunday Dec 4th – Wednesday Dec 7th – Thursday Dec 8th- Saturday Dec 10th. Now just spending three vacation day from your budget of 22 you can build a long bridge: more than one week! From Saturday Dec 3rd to Sunday Dec 11th! To enjoy the first snow and an appetizer of Christmas vacation!
Since many of us build this bridge you can imagine how business could have gone during that week: how many business meetings were cancelled or postponed and so on.
And that’s not all: we will talk about national vacation in our next post.