Opening hours of restaurants in Italy?
As we have said several times, the time for meals for Italians is unique and almost sacred! Italians highly value lunch and dinner and end up having very specific times for these meals. Whether in an Italian home or in restaurants, you will hardly find an Italian who does not stop whatever he is doing to sit at the table at meal times, but what are those times? We will tell you now about the opening hours of restaurants in Italy! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patriciayou make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
1) Opening hours of restaurants in Italy? BREAKFAST
In Italy, breakfast starts early, around 6 am and ends early too, usually until 9 am. Of course, in some hotels the hours are more flexible and extend until 10 am, but it is hardly more than that. Read also Is it worth using Uber in Italy?
2) Opening hours of restaurants in Italy? LUNCH
Lunch times vary because of the famous aperitif! (TIP: try the famous Spritz with ‘aranciata amara’, which is a kind of sugar-free orange soda and no coloring; another option is to drink Spritz with sparkling wine: it’s very refreshing!). The aperitif in Italy, that pre-lunch drink with some snacks, starts around 11 am and for this reason it is very difficult to find a restaurant that serves lunch at that time. Lunch, itself, is served between 12:00 pm and 02:00 pm.
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In big cities, if you’re lucky, you can even find a restaurant that serves lunch until 03:00 pm, but if you don’t find it, don’t be surprised: it’s normal! Read: When is the best time to go to Italy? and also get to know our Section on Food in Italy! In this section you will find lots of tips and information to not fall into a trap!
Hunger in the middle of the afternoon
What if you get hungry in the middle of the afternoon? Then things can get complicated (lol)! It works like this: in big cities (mainly tourist towns) it is possible to find some open places, such as grocery stores, ice cream parlors, bars among some other establishments, where you can find a sandwich or pizza. But if you’re in a smaller city, forget it! Because of ‘chiusura pomeriggiana’ (afternoon closing), known to us as siesta, many establishments close at 2:00 pm and only reopen around 4:00 pm. In winter, some places only reopen at 5:00 pm and it depends on each owner, of course! Is it a rule? It’s not! Closing the place is optional, but it is a widespread habit in Italy.
Obviously, in the most touristy and larger cities, such as Rome and Milan, shopping malls, for example, operate without interruption until 10:00 pm, but in smaller cities (mainly in winter), many stores close their doors at 8:00 pm. Yes! There is a time difference according to the season and this also applies to monuments, museums and parks, so always check the opening hours of the places you intend to visit, O.K.?!
Winter and summer
In winter, as we already mentioned, the hours are different and are reduced even more, including opening and closing of restaurants. And when does it snow? There are places that don’t even open. If the civil defense issues an alert, then forget it! Nothing works, not even public transport! It is difficult to happen, because Italy is well prepared to deal with the snow, but it can coincide with your trip! In high summer, in August, some places take the opportunity to take a vacation, so it is common to see shops, bars, restaurants and other closed establishments.
3) Opening hours of restaurants in Italy? DINNER
What about dinner? Well, before dinner there is also the famous aperitif. The most common time for the afternoon aperitif is between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and in most places dinner starts to be served at 8:00 pm, extending until 9:30 pm. Again: is it a rule? It’s not! Some restaurants operate until 10:00 pm, 11:00 pm, but you will hardly be able to dine by arriving at a restaurant at 11:30 pm, for example (there are exceptions, of course!).
- If you don’t want a complete meal, you can opt for fast food, places that sell pizza a taglio (square pieces of pizza), places that sell Kebab or street food (food truck). Some places are open all the time, others choose to close at the times mentioned above and others open only at lunch and then for dinner. One thing is for sure: don’t worry, because, in Italy, you’re not going to starve to death (lol)!
Opening Hours of Bars and Restaurants in Italy
Always wear a watch! (laughs). Write down the opening hours (*) of bars and restaurants in Italy:
- Breakfast: between 06:00 am and 09:00 am.
- Lunch aperitif: from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
- Lunch: from 12:00 pm to 02:00 pm.
- Afternoon aperitif: from 05:00 pm to 08:00 pm
- Dinner: from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
(*) Hours may vary from one city / region to another and according to the establishment; the schedules presented here are for guidance only and are not “official”.
Important to Know
Guys, it is worth remembering that some times may change according to the season, so check before going to the location. A good suggestion is to make reservations in advance, mainly on two occasions: during the summer, in the high season, when the cities get CROWDED, and for dinner, which is usually the busiest time.Find out here How to book a restaurant in Italy?
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Opening hours of restaurants in Italy? Today we discover tha italians highly value lunch and dinner and end up having very specific times for meals. And if you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier.
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