It's ususally the month of August, so it should be way over by now. When I lived in Naples, that was the best time to be there. Even though most of the shops were closed down, the Tangenziale (kind of like a freeway) was empty as everybody had left the city. Talk about some good street riding then!!
officially, it used to be august. But now few people (except for government workers who are unaccountable to anyone in italy) take 2 week or 3 week break. There is still about a month of vacation/yr, but some people split that 4th week up w/ xmas holidays.
the real question, is the sense of quality and drive that they have when they go back to work. I could start a whole rant about my country at this point, but I'll stop here.