On working days, shops are generally open from 9 am to 1 pm in the morning and then from 3/4 pm to 7/8 pm in the afternoon, on weekdays and Saturday. Shops are closed on Sunday, although department stores and hypermarkets stay open all day from 10 am to 7/8 pm throughout the week and some even stay open on Sunday morning.
Chemists tend to have the same opening hours as other shops; the majority of chemists are closed on Saturday afternoon, Sunday and on national holidays, but every municipal administration organises a rota system to ensure a few chemists are open at any time during the week. Chemists that stay closed are forced to display a sign in the window indicating the nearest open chemists.
Banks usually open at around 8:30 am and close at 1:30 pm, and they reopen in the afternoon between 3 or 4 pm and 6 or 7 pm, from Monday to Friday. At the weekend, however, bureaux de change agents in all the major cities and main tourist resorts are in full swing.
Post offices are open all day without a lunch break from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm from Monday to Saturday. Some central offices close at 1 pm on Saturday.
Cafés and bars are open all day and some even stay open until the early hours.
Nightclubs and other nightlife hotspots open around 10 pm but things only really begin to get going at around midnight. So don’t rush to the nightclub entrance early: go out for dinner first at about 9 or 10 pm (a normal dinner time, especially in the South of Italy) and take your time.