Italian Summer Holiday Season

August 15th, Assumption Day, or Ferragosto,  traditionally marks the start of Italy’s summer vacation period, so if you’re in a city during the second half of August, you may find a number of restaurants and shops closed for family vacation, chiuso per ferie. Many families head to the coast so one can expect the beaches to be crowded while the cities may be fairly empty.  Siena runs their second Palio in the central square today, August 16th.  And Sassari in Sardinia holds the Festa dei Candelieri that dates back to the 16th century also on the 16th of August with team races carrying massive candles.

I have always felt that being left behind in Florence in the later half of August was rather a vacation in itself, as the city feels more relaxed, with half of it’s inhabitants away on holiday!

Photo courtesy of

see…’Becoming Italian Word by Word’ Blog post also for more on Ferragosto.

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