And vacation it is!
Italy is officially on vacation. Today, Ferragosto, is the day when all Italians "should" be on vacation. And most of them are. Either at the beach (70%), in the mountains (15,7%) or in some foreign place, the USA being on their favorite destinations in recent years (10%). (The strong Euro against the dollar makes their US vacations cost-effective.) 33 million Italians are on vacation this summer, which is 55% of the population.
Some things have changed from last year. The average cost has come down Euro 100 to Euro 776, including room and board, transportation and entertainment. The average length of
the holiday has dwindled a day to 11 nights away from home. The time period to take vacation is also changing. June and September are becoming increasing popular with 4% increases for both, although August remains the favorite month with 52% choosing now as their time for the great escape.
On another front, Italians are increasingly borrowing money to go on vacation. Around 35K of them are borrowing anywhere from Euro 4500-7000 for this purpose. The average Italian asking for this kind of prestito is 40 years old and generally comes from the South, Sicily and Sardinia being at the top. However considering that it takes these borrowers 3 years to pay off the loan, it may not be a very wise choice over the long run.
Loan information source.