August and Ferragosto in Italy

In Italy August is synonymous with HOLIDAYS !!! Yes, because most Italians go on vacation at the same time! Offices closed, stores closed, businesses closed is the most expensive and chaotic month ever.
Tourists everywhere, angry people, few spaces available, queues to go to some beaches ...etc etc. It is not my favourite month, indeed I usually stay in the city or take trips close to home to relax and get away from the overcrowded places.

However, August is also the month in which we celebrate FERRAGOSTO !!! But what is Ferragosto ? What do Italians do on Ferragosto ?

In ancient times it was a pagan holiday in honour of Emperor Augustus, but then it became a Catholic holiday dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Now Italians celebrate this day at the beach, in the mountains, with a trip out of town by preparing a picnic lunch, cocktails and/or barbecues with family and friends.

In many cities and towns, wonderful fireworks are organized in the evening. It is a wonderful Italian tradition that allows people to spend time with friends while having fun and relaxing.

This holiday has its greatest celebration in Dino Risi's magnificent film “Il sorpasso” starring Vittorio Gassman, Catherine Spaak and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Perhaps not everyone remembers it, but this film begins "in the deserted Rome of an ordinary Ferragosto."

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