4 Tips to Help Study Abroad Students Master the Art of the Italian Riposo

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Life in Italy moves at a different pace than other places, especially compared to the United States. While the workday in America may involve the typical 9-5, Italians have a more segmented schedule that includes a special time of day known as the riposo.

The riposo is essentially the Italian equivalent of a siesta, a midday break when shops close and workers go home to have a long lunch or even take a refreshing nap before heading back out to finish their day. Adjusting to the riposo may be difficult if you’re used to the all-hours access of American culture, but fortunately when in Rome, there are a few ways you can learn to do as the Romans do.

If you’re interested in studying abroad in Italy, read on for a few tips to help you incorporate the riposo into your everyday life during your studies.

1. Be Prepared and Make Sure You Get Important Errands Done Early

For many new students in Italy, the main obstacle of the riposo is that it limits the time to fit in weekly errands such as going to the grocery store or stopping by the post office.

Luckily, riposo is typically between 1pm and 4pm, which may also coincide with the hours that you’ll be attending your classes. In order to avoid the frustration of stopping at your corner store to find it closed for the afternoon, try to make time in the morning or evening to complete any errands.

2. Be Aware that Riposo is Part of the Roman Lifestyle

The riposo is a tradition that is beloved by many Italians—so much so, in fact, that you may find that many Romans are quite serious about silence during the riposo hours.

Many Romans enjoy the period of quiet that riposo offers before continuing their day

Many Romans enjoy the period of quiet that riposo offers before continuing their day

Riposo gives Romans a time to rest and refresh before continuing the day, and your neighbors may be very protective over their right to quiet during the afternoon. This means that you should be considerate about the noise you’re making during those midday hours, and be respectful if your neighbors ask you to keep it down. The sudden hush may be unsettling at first, but the riposo is something you can quickly adjust to while you study abroad in Rome.

3. Open Hours May Vary between Businesses during the Riposo

Although the riposo itself generally lasts between 1pm and 4pm throughout Rome, the specific hours that a business is open during it can change depending on the establishment.

Many businesses will typically close at the start of the lunch hour around 1pm. When you study abroad in Rome, you will quickly learn that lunchtime is very important for Italians, but that doesn’t mean that everyone takes a break for lunch at the same time each day. Although some businesses may post their hours outside, the proprietors have the final say over when they are closed or open during riposo, and it can vary from business to business.

4. Embrace the Power of the Riposo While You Study Abroad in Rome

A busy day can wear you out and lead to a crash in energy in the early afternoon; once you adjust to the riposo, you may find that it’s far more beneficial than it may seem.

Students at JCU can use riposo hours to take a break and explore Rome

Students at JCU can use riposo hours to take a break and explore Rome

Riposo is a time for rest, relaxation, and recuperation. You can use it to fit in some extra study time, meet up with friends for a long lunch, or even fit in a quality nap to recharge your batteries. The riposo gives you precious time that you can use however you want to, and allows for more space to balance your commitments with personal time during a busy day.

Are you interested in learning more about studying abroad at American universities in Italy?

Contact John Cabot University for more information.

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