Rome

Economic crisis keeping most Italians home New Year's Eve

Survey finds Italians plan to limit holiday celebration costs

Economic crisis keeping most Italians home New Year's Eve

Rome, December 28 - As many as 82% of Italians surveyed say they will celebrate New Year's Eve at home this year due to the economic crisis, according to a report released Friday. They will be cutting costs by at least 3% compared with spending last New Year's Eve, according to the survey by Confeserecenti, a leading business association. For only 6% of respondents, December 31 means dinner out at a restaurant, up from the 2% last year who planned a night out on the town. Wherever they celebrate, as many as 90 million bottles of spumante, the Italian bubbly wine of choice, will be consumed this year - the same amount reported for last New Year's Eve. That figure was released by the Italian Farmers Confederation (CIA), which also urges celebrants to remember to recycle their corks. The CIA says that families are tightening their belts this year, buying cheaper wine labels and keeping costs within an average of five euros to 10 euros per bottle. It estimates that total wine spending between Christmas and January 6, the festival of Epiphany, will total about 697 million euros. Most popular will once again be sweet sparkling wine, or spumante, likely accounting for about 59% of wine consumed; followed by about 36% of drinkers opting for dry wines. Only about 5% of Italians choose French champagne for New Year's Eve.

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