One of the episodes of Top Gear (Series 18, Episode 1), where they're testing some supercars in Italy, involves them being stopped by the police officers.

The characters feared speeding; turns out, they were stopped for working on a Sunday without a permit! (Only in Italy!)

Is it true that you need some kind of a special permit to work on a Sunday in Italy?

P.S. Prompted by the comment in Do you need to obey an obstructed traffic sign?

  • I'm intrigued by this question, also because I'm Italian, and I plan on writing a complete answer, once I find a bit of time. The situation is unclear and we just hear a few words by the Police officer, so it's difficult to say exactly what was going on. Generally speaking, you don't need a permit to work on Sundays. They might have needed a permit either to shoot the video on a public highway on a holiday, or to drive supercars on Sunday (during some Sundays, there are traffic restrictions to reduce pollution).
    – A. Darwin
    Mar 31, 2016 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


Art.36, Italy's constitution:

Workers have the right to a remuneration commensurate to the quantity and quality of their work and in any case such as to ensure them and their families a free and dignified existence. Maximum daily working hours are established by law. Workers have the right to a weekly rest day and paid annual holidays. They cannot waive this right.

Italian Civil Code:

All workers have the right to rest one day a week ( art.36 of the Constitution) normally on Sunday (Sect. 2109 Civil Code ).

The 24 hour weekly rest period can be shifted only for special activities, dealt with by Act 370/1934 ( article 5). Workers are entitled to a compensatory rest.

Civil code and Legislative Decree No. 66 of 2003:

Core of working time regulation is Legislative Decree No. 66 of 2003, implementing the European Directives 93/104/CE and 2000/34/CE, even if important principles are still contained in a few norms of the Civil Code (dated 1942), namely Article 2107, 2108 and 2019. Under Article 9 of Legislative Decree No. 66/2003 every worker is entitled, per each seven-day period (calculated as an average on a time lapse no longer than 14 days) to a minimum uninterrupted rest of 24 hours, as a rule on Sunday, plus the 11 hours’ daily rest referred to in the above mentioned Art. 7 (in other words, the two periods can’t overlap). However, many exceptions are provided in this case too.

In short, while workers are entitled to (at least) a day of rest every 6 days of work, usually on Sundays, there are many exceptions to the rules, as long as at least one day of rest is guaranteed.

However, you don't need a permit to work on a Sunday.

(Note that municipal regulations might prevent local businesses in some cities from opening to the public on Sundays, e.g. restaurants, supermarkets, bars..)

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