ITALY: A Bridge Too Far

As many visitors to Italy have learned to their exasperation, it is often hard to find an open bank or post office there, much less close a business deal. That is because the Italians celebrate 17 official civil and religious holidays a year, more than any other Western European nation, and then take a lot of unofficial days off as well. Italy virtually ground to a halt, for instance, during the work week starting Nov. 1. First came All Saints' Day, then All Souls' Day, when employers allow workers to visit cemeteries,...

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