Being Italian Blog

Time Perception In Italy

A few days ago I saw this funny picture and thought the topic definitely needs an article!

Yes, I confirm that the actual appointment for social / non business meetings normally happens 15 minutes later the agreed time, but it could be even more.

When I was living in Italy, I created my own counterattack tactic against some of my friends that I knew were 15-30 minutes late every single time… I started setting the time of the appointment a bit earlier for them, planning to show up 15 minutes “later” myself. Well, it did work, my waiting time went down to only a few minutes 😛 – friends, don’t hate me if you read this!

Being late is almost expected, so don’t be surprised if your Italian friend shows up 20 minutes late with a big proud smile and does not even apologise!

The more you go towards the South, the more this is true.

It is linked to a general perception of tasks, work duties and life. The more you go towards the South, the more the percpetion of time is flexible and punctuality is not a priority. What is a priority instead is the social interaction with the person itself, offering coffee / being nice and friendly / etc.

What is the percpetion of time in your native culture? Do you find any difference?

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