Category Archives: Aeolian Islands

Italian lack of punctuality

introduction  writes this in the post “Italian punctuality: reliably unreliable”:

“Italian punctuality can at times feel like an oxymoron, even though to many Italians, unpunctuality is a constant annoyance.

In saying ‘sometime around’ many Italians are secretly implying a time you’re expected to arrive (9pm) while giving themselves a 15 window of time to arrive. with the Italian tendency to delay or push back deadlines, it could be later still. This habit seems more prevalent the further south in Italy you go, … “  is harder in its critics,  writing 

“Those of you who, like me, know a number of Italians, have probably realised that most have little or NO concept of time and punctuality,

The Italymagazine editor  continues with:

“But this seems to be an endemic part of the Italian make up. They never keep to time in their personal lives.”

I have done business with Italians since 1995. I agree with italymagazine especcially here in Sicily. I have always thought the Sicilians are slower less willing to stress because of the heat. I may be wrong.

I myself tend instead to come to meetings  before time to avoid the stress and prevent unexpected events that may delay me. I love walking slowly the last meters to destination especially with the Sicilian Summer heat. And I do not want others to loose their precious time. As John in the video I share below

“Time is the  most important human resource”. We dont live 400 years like Abraham.  Don’t we?

If i visit my doctor I am prepared for a waiting session as I know that a patients illness before me may require more time than expected by the doctor. I have experience of very long  waiting times in Swedish hospitals. So, when I visit a doctor I plan for a longer wait with a newspaper or spending the time planning the rest of my day or week or ejoying a talk with other patients.

I am trying to find a solution for unexpected waiting time. Shall I become a time robber coming late too? But as writes, Italians expect others to be punctual.



Punctual people.

I like to listen to this Youtubeas he is making a little bit fun about himself.


Time robbers

I dont find any site telling about lack of punctuality and time stealing. But I find a lot of sites telling about time robbers. The best slide i found was this:

But as you can see this table just list factors that steal time from you. But time robbers may be stealing your time because these factors steal time from them.

I presume that two factors are the main contributors of Italian lack of punctuality:

  1. poor planning
  2. Phone calls and Inability to say “no”
  3. Taking on to much and ineffective or lacking of delegation

1. I have noted that very few Italian may use a calendar, paperback nor digital. I have not met anyone using this technique.
2, When I had a meeting, if someone else called, I have never heard “Sorry I have a meeting now. can I call you back when I am ready?”

only once in my Italian experience, I  heard “Sorry for being late”


How to stop being late

Maybe this video gives you a few hints

For me the most valuable tips are:

  1. Build margin in the calendar
  2. Cut off things
  3. Change your attitude having “no” as your defaults answer
  5. Plan to be early and plan something enjoyable to do while you wait.
  6. Make deadlines non-negotiable
  7. Know you personality type.
    Psychologist Dr. Linda Sapadin identified four chronically late personality types:

    1. perfectionists should be optimalist instead
    2. dreamers are often overoptimistic with time.
    3. crisis makers should practice adrenalin sports instead.
    4. Defiers  who hates being told what to do  should instead  rebel against social norms that are actually harmful
  8. Sourcve;:

Academic quarter

Perhaps the solution is the Swedish “akademisk kvart” (“Academic quarter” German “Akademisches Viertel”, Italian: “Quarto d’ora accademico”

I have found a Italian site about “Quarto d’ora accademico” in che tra l’altro dice degli italiani “non siamo in generale rigidi nel rispetto delle regole, almeno nelle regole dell’orario e della puntualità. Questa mancanza di capacità di stare alle regole, di stare nel “recinto” delle regole, se da una parte è una mancanza di rispetto verso chi invece le regole le rispetta, dall’altra ci dà probabilmente la capacità di stare al di fuori della logica comune, e questo porta l’italiano ad una maggiore creatività, una maggiore inventiva, una maggiore capacità di inventare e di lavorare con la fantasia. Questa ovviamente può essere una delle possibili interpretazioni, una delle tante.”

I reallt wonder if this time culture helps the Italians to become more creative “porta l’italiano ad una maggiore creatività“. Creativity depends on your time of relax. The Italian siesta and relax is I think a better space for creativity.


How to deal with the Italian lack of Punctuality

the academic quarter was not permitted in compulsory school in Sweden. But this academic culture is maybe a solution. Shall I plan with coming sometime within 15 minutes? I don’t have a answer yet, how to deal with this issue.  I see however  no reason to come before as this would make me still more irritated if the others come late.

or like John says in his youtube above “I try to be less early”

I like the idea sugggests:

Plan to be early and plan something enjoyable to do while you wait.”

so If someone comes late I can go and take a cup of granita?

It is Shangri-La you need to experience.

Jesse Nash, USA in Black Tie said: “There is a little piece of paradise than many travellers may not be aware of. The Aeolian Islands (Italian Isole Eolie) are a just such a place, a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. It is Shangri-La you need to experience. Many in Europe and Italy already know about this wonderful place. It’s time for you to make your next dream vacation and the Aeolian Islands couldn’t be a better choice. The largest island is Lipari, and tourism marketing often names the entire archipelago the Lipari Islands because of the ease of pronouncing Lipari compared to Aeolian. The other islands include Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and Basiluzzo. The town of Lipari has about 11,000 inhabitants. Vulcano is famous for its fango (mud) baths.” Click here…

Photo taken at Valle Muria 1/1 2009 while taking a swim with my tough Olympus.


Aeolian Islands isolated

The Italian Tirrenia who owns the Shipping company SIREMAR has serious economic problems and plans to close SIREMAR and all business related to it. SIREMAR takes care of the ship connection between the Aeolian Islands, Sicily and Naples. SIREMAR is in fact the only company that provides a connection between Naples and the Islands, which means among others transport of merchandise and during summer time, tourist related transports. With SIREMAR leaving the only ship connection will be with Milazzo with another company called NGI. This will make it necessary for the merchandise to travel from the north all the way south to Milazzo to get to the Islands. For all islands and especially distant islands like Stromboli, this will imply a big cost raises. It is already difficult to reach the islands, because of lack of cooperation between the shipping companies, because of bad timetable planning and during spring, autumn and winter season, bad weather conditions. The islands also suffer because of high living costs and a tourism that is either missing or looking for other destinations. Without good ship connections, the islands will be isolated and get into a severe crisis.

This is the reason why all shops were closed yeasterday in a general strike and a SIREMAR ship, the Laurana is occupied by the Aeolian citizens since it arrived yesterday morning. Yesterday and today the municipality of Lipari is having their meetings on the ship, car deck. Look at the photos. Yesterday evening 46 million euro were promised by the government in Rome but this will probably not be enough for 2009, at least not if the islands wants to keep a good ship like Laurana.

I found this text on the Laurana ship entry. I think it is a good way to describe the Aeolian Island citizens feeling about this crisis.


no, ci dispiace, ma alle Eolie non nevica,
non facciamo notizie.
che importa se in 1500 abbiamo occupato
la nave della Siremar Laurana, che collega(va)
Lipari a Napoli?
che importa se la teniamo occupata da 24
e non ci muoviamo?
che importa se, finalmente uniti,
combattiamo per difendere i nostri DIRITTI
ELEMENTARI di cittadini italiani?
che importa se il governo ci ha risposto con
le ennesime promesse vaghe??
che importa se i nostri signori turisti e
visitatori e frequentatori d’ora in poi avranno
“un mare” di problemi per raggiungerci???
che importa se quest’estate, causa anche
crisi dei trasporti verranno a mancare circa
300 posti di lavoro (stima “a braccio”)??
che importa??
il vero problema é che qui non nevica, non
facciamo notizia e nessuno parla di noi..
non ci resta che sperare che qualcuno ci



no, sorry, but at the Aeolians islands it doesn’t snow,
we do not make news.
what matters if 1500 of us occupied
the Siremar ship Laurana, that connect(take us)
from Lipari to Neaple?
what matters if we occupy the ship since 24 hours
and we won’t leave it?
what matters if we, finally together,
fight to defend our BASIC
RIGHTS as Italian citizens?
what matters if the government answers with
usual and vague promises??
what matters if the tourists,
visitors and frequent visitors from now on will have
“a sea” of problems to visit us??
what matters if this summer, because of
the transport crisis, there will be about
300 people without work (approximate number)??
the real problem is that, it doesn’t snow here, we
do not make news and nobody talks about us…
we just have to hope that someone will
throw a bomb on us……