More Italians are staying at home due to family and economic reasons, many are taking briefer holidays and more are taking their vacanze in July or September.

This is what emerged from a study conducted by Federalberghi, Italys tourism trade union federation.

44,2 per cent of Italians will be staying home due to economic reasons compared to the 32,4 per cent of last summer. Italians not leaving their city of residence for family reasons are also on the rise (21,8 per cent compared to 17,4 per cent in 2005). This translates into some 22,4 million people not packing their bags. However missing out on holidays due to work reasons is on the decline, affecting 18,7 per cent of the population instead of 19,1 per cent.

More people are choosing to take their holidays in months other than August . The number of people taking holidays in July has risen by nearly 3 per cent compared with 2005. September is also gaining popularity as a holiday month.

This year has also seen a decline in summer visits to other European capitals, down from last years 37,7 per cent to 28,9 per cent.

For over half of the countrys shops, bars and restaurants its business as usual, with 55,2 per cent of bars remaining open during summer compared to last years 44,5 per cent and some 55,2 per cent of restaurant compared with the 47,9 per cent in 2005.

Cell phones, lap tops and i-pods have resulted as being the nations preferred holiday companions - 95 per cent of Italians under 30 refuse to part with them during their summer break.