Of all the statistics available on Italy and its varied economic problems, few are as eye-opening as the fact that at around 1 p.m on any given day, three quarters of the population will normally be sitting down to lunch in their own homes.
According to data from statistics agency ISTAT, lunch is the most important meal of the day for 68 percent of Italians and 74.3 percent usually eat it at home, a figure which has grown as a long recession has hit spending on food and eating out.
As anyone who has seen the shuttered afternoon streets of a small Italian town knows, it can be hard to get much done at lunchtime in Italy, even though many shops and businesses stay open until relatively late in the evening to compensate.
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