If you go to Italy around mid-August, you will notice that many Italians are on vacation, many public places are closed (except for maybe in the touristy areas), and there are religious parades, street fairs, and other festivals going on. August 15th is the Italian national holiday “Ferragosto” — a day that marks the start of the Italian summer vacation period.
One source tells us that, according to the Catholic church in Italy, Ferragosto is believed to have started around “Assumption Day,” the day when God assumed the Virgin Mary into heaven at the end of her life. This day was August 15th.
But not so fast: Ferragosto is also believed to come from Ferirae Augusti (Festivals or Holidays of Emperor Augustus). It was started by Augustus himself around August of 18 B.C. to celebrate the harvest and long end to an intense period of agricultural labor. In honor of all the hard agricultural work, Augustus provided a period of rest for the people.
In Italy, Ferragosto is celebrated as a national holiday and it also marks the start of the vacationing period. Many Italians go on vacation; many stay home and watch the parades and festivals that take place in major cities.
To celebrate our own vacationing period, Sentieri Tours is going on a two-week trip to the Amalfi Coast for some fun in the sun next summer! Come join us for 12 days of excursions, relaxation, breath-taking views, and tasty food!