The summer sales will begin officially in Rome on Saturday 9 July and will end on Friday 19 August. Shop keepers are expected to reduce their prices by as much as 33 per cent from the start of the sales, hoping to sell as much as possible to make up for the 15 per cent drop in consumer spending in the first six months of the year.

Sales may only be held within dates set by the city council and shopkeepers may not advertise sales in advance of these dates. However there is no law preventing them from selling goods at a reduced price before sales begin, and shoppers should ask for a discount even though the sales have not started yet.

Once the official sales begin all items should be clearly labelled with the original price, the sales price and the percentage of the reduction being offered.