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Italians Go Home for Lunch No Matter What

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Alberto Sordi takes a break in "Un americano a Roma"

Alberto Sordi takes a break in “Un americano a Roma”

Remember when you were a kid and you could go home for lunch if you brought a note for your teacher? In the U.S., I think that possibility ended in the 1980s and surely few American kids and adults have the luxury of going to their house for lunch. But in Italy, a staggering 75% of workers still go home for lunch, despite the country’s dire economic situation, reports Reuters.

Obviously if you take the time to get to your house, your lunch is longer, cutting into the workday and economic efficiency. The tradition of lunch at home is even more ingrained in southern Italy, where unemployment is higher and traditional family roles are more in play.

“Obviously Milan, Turin or Rome would have many more who eat away from home,” Paolo Corvo, who teaches Sociology at University of Gastronomic Sciences, a specialist institute near the northern city of Turin, told Reuters.

“There’s been a change since the 1970s when pretty much everyone would have eaten at home,” said Corvo.

“But even so, Italy is still a country where you can see the differences between north and south, city and small town and where every region has its own food traditions.”

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