The Dodici Hustle

Adapt, fit in, whatever – if you like living in Italy carry on


Of the many frustrations that I have encountered living in Italy, the Dodici Hustle is the worst. The what? The Dodici Hustle refers to the way that Italians drop everything they are doing at noon (and usually a bit before) in order to race home for lunch. Here in Italy we have the intervale when everything shuts down for three hours between noon and three PM.

Dodici refers to twelve in Italian and that’s the magic hour when it all unfolds. I have come to understand this phenomena but I don’t really understand its intensity. Let’s start with the shops and stores. Owners start getting very anxious at about a quarter to noon. They pace their floors, looking at their watches. When the magic hour arrives, the lights go off. Often you are politely escorted to the door and told to come back in the afternoon. I’ve even seen transactions…

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