Date and time notation in Italy

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In Italy, the all-numeric form for dates is in the order "day month year", using a slash as the separator. Example: 31/12/1992 or 31/12/92. Years can be written with two or four digits, and day and month may be written with or without a leading zero.

The expanded form is "22 dicembre 2010", optionally with the day of the week: "mercoledì 22 dicembre 2010". [1]

Two-digit years may be used in the expanded form, but in this case they are prefixed by an apostrophe: "(mercoledì) 22 dicembre '10". This notation is considered informal.


Official time is always given in 24-hour format.

The 24-hour notation is used in writing with a colon as a separator. Example: 14:05. The minutes are written with two digits; the hour numbers can be written with or without leading zero.

In oral communication 12-hours are prominently used. In 12-hours, hour figures are always preceded by the definitive article. La una di pomeriggio (or L'una di pomeriggio) is 1 PM (1 in the afternoon), le due (di pomeriggio) is 2 PM, le tre (di pomeriggio) is 3 PM etc. Hours after dusk or sunset are given as le sette di sera ("7 in the evening"), le otto di sera (8 in the evening) and so on until 11 PM which is le undici di sera. Midnight is simply mezzanotte. Following hours are L'una (di notte) (1 AM, "1 in the night"), Le due (di notte) (2 AM) or sometimes l'una del mattino (1 in the morning), le due del mattino. After dawn, hours are Le otto (del mattino) (8 AM), Le nove (del mattino) (9 AM) until 11 AM. Midday (noon) is mezzogiorno. 12-hours may be used with approximate time, such as Le tre e un quarto (a quarter past three) or with precise time (Le tre e diciotto, 03:18 or 15:18). Whether one is referring to AM or PM is generally implicit in the context of the conversation; otherwise, more information must be provided in order to avoid confusion: le tre e diciotto del pomeriggio (3:18 PM)


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